Medical background

What are ankle sprains?

The injury

A lot of people sprain their ankles – worldwide millions of people suffer from this injury every year.

A sprain involves stretching or tearing a ligament and in the worst case scenario a sprain leads to a complete rupture of the ligament or even a fracture of the ankle bones. An ankle sprain is not only very painful but also decreases freedom of movement. Moreover, the chance of a repeated injury is high once the ligaments have been damaged.

How ankle sprains occur

An ankle sprain can occur during physical activity when your foot does not land straight on the ground and your footsole folds inwards. It is the task of your ligaments to prevent this from happening, but sometimes they are not strong enough to endure the force of the impact.
Injuries of the ankle ligament are common during contact sports, indoor sports and sports that require frequent jumping, such as basketball and volleyball. Just like cyclists wear a helmet, other athletes should embrace ankle protection.

Het inversietrauma

"Every year millions of people experience a traumatic ankle sprain: a common problem which is mostly sports-related."

Dutch Consumer Safety Institute, 2014

Not only are ankle injuries painful, they also limit people’s freedom to exercise, work, move around as usual, and perform to their full potential (Dutch Consumer Safety Institute, 2014).

Spraining an ankle, particularly the inversiontrauma, is the most common ankle injury. Contact sports, indoor sports and sports involving large amounts of jumping are particularly known for causing a high frequency of acute ankle injuries. A wealth of research has been conducted into ankle sprains, providing functional anatomic descriptions of what causes this trauma. In nearly all cases, the anterior talofibular ligament (‘ATFL’) is affected, sometimes accompanied by injuries to the other lateral ligaments (, 2013).

Distortion of the ATFL is due to exorotation of the lower leg. During this movement, the tibia and fibula rotate in relation to the talus and calcaneus, putting stress on the ligament (Riezebos & Lagerberg, 1998).

Most cases of inversion trauma happen because of an unfortunate landing, a quick chopping move or a stumble. For this reason, inversion trauma is sometimes called an ‘ankle roll’ − a component of plantarflexion is present. A plantar-flexed foot can twist further out of the tibia-fibula fork because of the way the talus is shaped (trapezium), causing the ATFL to stretch even more (Barnet & Napier, 1950; Fong et al., 2010).

Graad I oprekking
A distortion/streching. (Grade I)
A single rupture. (Grade II)
A multiple rupture of the lateral collateral ligament. (Grade III)

Ankle-protection prevents sprains

Prevention is better than rehabilitation. That's why it's smart to wear external protection as a prevention aid.

When you sprain your ankles, the chance of another ankle sprain increases. Therefore, take good care of yourself and make sure to take enough time to recover from your injuries.

Prevention is, of course, better than rehabilitation. Multiple solutions to ankle protection are available, of which EXO-L performs best according to research.