Prevention strategies for ankle injuries in soccer: a review
López de Calle Sánchez, Asier
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Epidemiological studies have shown that ankle is the most affected body site in the denominated high-risk sports, such as soccer. Nevertheless, extensive data reported significant reductions in ankle injury rates accomplishing injury prevention programs. Although, to some extent, an unpreventable “baseline” of ankle sprain risk exists, current literature supports and suggests the implementation and performance of such preventive measures. In addition, the importance of acquiring basic motor skills during early ages is increasingly emphasized, as this so called “window opportunity” could be used as a long-term injury prevention strategy. This review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the current existing evidence about strategies in the prevention of ankle injuries in soccer. The key words used for the search method were ankle injury prevention in soccer, soccer+ankle+injury+prevention, ankle sprain prevention and soccer injury prevention, in order to identify available literature in the databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and SciELO). First of all, various theoretical dimensions related to the specific structure, risks, and mechanisms of ankle injury in soccer will be addressed. Afterwards, the diverse preventive measures will be exhaustively analyzed; and, finally, a number of methodological bear-in-mind aspects, practical implications and conclusions are proposed. In conclusion, this review provides a summary of the commonly implemented ankle injury prevention practices in soccer.