July 2013

NATA’s ankle sprain guidelines focus on best practices, assessment, prevention

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) released a position statement on the management and prevention of ankle sprains on June 27 at its 64th Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia in Las Vegas.

The NATA’s position statement offers best practices supported by the medical evidence and detailed guidelines for appropriate preventive measures (including taping and bracing), initial assessment, short- and long-term management, return-to-play guidelines, and recommendations for syndesmotic ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability.

The sport with the highest incidence of ankle injuries is  field hockey, followed by volleyball, football, basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, track and field, gymnastics, and softball.

“Most ankle sprains result from damage due to an acute twisting of the foot or are caused from landing from jumps, stepping on another athlete’s foot, trauma at heel strike during running or stressing the foot while in a fixed position,” said lead author Thomas W. Kaminski, PhD, ATC, professor and director of the Athletic Training Education Program at University of Dela­ware in Newark, who noted ankle sprains are often followed by  high reoccurrence rates, diminished quality of life, and other sequelae.

The Journal of Athletic Training published the guidelines in its July issue.

The complete statement is available online at nata.org/sites/default/files/ankle-sprains.pdf.

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- Emily Delzell

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