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  1. #1
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    Default Ankle sprain frequency

    I know ankle sprain is very common in badminton, but I seem to get it way more often than others, mostly during non-game rallies (i.e. I walk slowly backward to receive a clear, and ouch).

    In the two years I play badminton, average once a week and 3 hours each session, that's about 300 hours of play, low intermediate level, I had about 6 ankle sprains, big and small. Is it too frequent to be of concern? I usually stretch for 5-10 mins (including foot rotation) before warmup rally.

    I saw some older threads recommend ankle support. Will it hurt more in rare cases because it limits ankle movement?
    Last edited by kaki!; 10-31-2013 at 06:46 PM.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    That's not normal. Perhaps you're dragging your feet, not lifting enough. You need to improve the lightness and proprioceptive feel of your feet... try rope skipping and balancing on one foot at a time with knee slightly bent.

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    not normal. i sprained my ankle only once. and that's in 20+ yrs of playing badminton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    That's not normal. Perhaps you're dragging your feet, not lifting enough.
    I guess you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    balancing on one foot at a time with knee slightly bent.
    Which area does this help?

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    helps with strengthening your ankles and lower legs, improves balance

    i forgot to say that you have to gently hop on one leg with arms out on each side for balance... then do it with eyes closed.

    one more thing, what kind of shoes? make sure it's court or indoor shoes, not runners or joggers as those have a sharp cut-off at the edges that are great for running but dangerous for side to side badminton movements.

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    Check

    1. Correct footwear
    2. correct balance
    3. Correct footwork
    4. Any old sprains from many years ago
    5. Enough muscular strength in legs
    6. Fatigued muscles

    I am guessing all of these are factors (you state low intermediate level and only play once a week but a 3 hour session )

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    I perform a couple exercises that are great for balance, coordination, and strengthening.

    The first one is just standing and balancing on one leg. Cross your arms in front of your chest (don't stick arms out to help balance). Close your eyes. Now lift one leg up, bend knee, and keep lifted foot next to the knee on the standing leg, and just balance. Time yourself to improve each time. After one leg, switch and to the other. You keep going longer to improve. Do several sets, every day.

    Another is standing and lifting one leg and use that leg to touch the floor approximately 2' in front of you, lift and touch 2' to right of you, then 2' behind you, finishing with 2' left of you, and repeat. Basically, pretend you are in the middle of a clock, and you touch the hour hand at 12, 3, 6, 9, and repeat. Also do this with your eyes closed. This one I recommend having your arms out.

    If it's too hard with your eyes closed, do it open first. Do these exercises for several minutes, every day, and you will improve your coordination, balance, strength in your foot and ankles, as well as other muscles areas.

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    Thanks all.

    My flat feet are quite comfortable in my badminton shoes. So maybe it's not the shoes.
    And even though I said 3 hours, that includes warmups, breaks between games, waiting-for-court time, etc. The actual on-court time maybe less than 2 hours.

    One thing though, I love badminton very much, so much that sometimes after a sprain, I kept playing. The pain was sorta bearable at that moment, but terrible that night and the next few days. For light twists, I only rested couple weeks; for serious twists, I rested maybe 2-3 months. I started playing again as soon as I felt good enough, because I have no other way to judge if the torn ligaments have fully recovered. I think this is what got me to where I'm today...

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    If you're always spraining one ankle, then you'll need to use ankle support when you play for preventive and psychological measure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaki! View Post
    Thanks all.

    My flat feet are quite comfortable in my badminton shoes. So maybe it's not the shoes.
    And even though I said 3 hours, that includes warmups, breaks between games, waiting-for-court time, etc. The actual on-court time maybe less than 2 hours.

    One thing though, I love badminton very much, so much that sometimes after a sprain, I kept playing. The pain was sorta bearable at that moment, but terrible that night and the next few days. For light twists, I only rested couple weeks; for serious twists, I rested maybe 2-3 months. I started playing again as soon as I felt good enough, because I have no other way to judge if the torn ligaments have fully recovered. I think this is what got me to where I'm today...
    Good point - I missed flat feet. I put orthotics in my shoes, got coaching in my footwork, got stronger from the training, changed the shoes so I get less sprains now. I have permanent problems from wearing wrong shoes and poor footwork during teenage years.

    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    If you're always spraining one ankle, then you'll need to use ankle support when you play for preventive and psychological measure.
    YMMV. I find it helps my proprioceptive input.

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    I haven't had angle sprain for years (used to have occasional problems). Recently, I replaced my worn out shoes with another pair of Yonex badminton shoes (most expensive one in house). They look good, but I had mild sprain twice within month after the switch. I can only blame it on the shoes. Then someone experienced pointed to me that there's a feature designed into the shoes to protect against such kind of problem. You may want to look into it.

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    I've never sprained my ankles *knock on wood* but I have hurt them. Tonight, I was on the right rear court and (not quite certain what happened as it was so quick) I landed wrong, and my left ankle rolled inward. Am I fully to blame for that? It didn't really feel like I was out of position.

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