How does an NBA Player Overcome Career Limiting Ankle Injury?

Written By: Nick Mezyk DPT Clinic Director ProCare Johnstown

If you have played sports long enough, you have most likely experienced the following…You’re running down the field, court or track, and you go to make a quick cut. Except you end up crumbling to the ground because you rolled your ankle causing a popping sensation on the outside portion of that ankle. It swells up within minutes, and the next thing you know you’ve got someone like me poking and prodding around your painful joint (sorry about that) trying to figure out exactly which ligaments you damaged.

This is a description of a non-contact lateral ankle sprain. If you have experienced this type of injury, unfortunately, you are much more susceptible to re-injuring that ankle. Actually, one large scale study “An epidemiological survey on ankle sprain” by Yeung et al. followed 563 ankle sprains, and 414 of these sprains recurred. That’s a 73.5% re-injury rate!! This highlights the importance of a proper rehab program that addresses ALL of the intrinsic risk factors that leave people susceptible to ankle sprains.

These intrinsic risk factors include:

• Decreased ankle strength.
• Decreased ankle stability.
• High BMI.
• Decreased proprioception.
• Decreased core strength.
• Decreased hip abduction strength (here is a link to a great article about Stephen Curry’s ankle issues which did not resolve until Golden State’s training staff addressed his hip/core strength deficits..

NBA’s Steven Curry overcomes lateral ankle sprain

Come see me or any of ProCare’s therapists or athletic training staff for a thorough evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan to get you back in action as quickly as possible and to prevent re-injury.

Nick Mezyk, DPT
Clinical Director
ProCare Physical Therapy, Johnstown
334 Budfield Street
Johnstown, PA 15904

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