[box type = ”info”] Clément Oudart, sports physiotherapist in Paris, involved in prevention and treatment within the French Table Tennis Federation. Manages the “health” column of Padel Magazine. Understand and manage pathologies related to Padel thanks to Clément Oudart. [/ box]

Clément Oudart offers you a focus on the ankle at padel and one of the most frequent traumatic pathologies: lateral ankle sprain.

17% of the wounded have this sprain

If you play padel and you injure yourself, you have a 17% bad luck of having a sprained ankle.

What is this ?

A sprained ankle is the stretching or rupture of the lateral ligament of the ankle. (2)
This ligament consists of 3 bundles. (1)

Most of the time, the front beam is affected. The more serious the injury, the more the other beams may be involved.

The inversion mechanism

This results from an inversion mechanism: the foot goes in and therefore comes to tension the ligament.

Au padel, the moments at risk are especially slips and landings. But injuries can also be caused either against the glass or on the foot of his partner.


The treatment

Depending on the severity the treatment will vary. This can range from simple physiotherapy, to immobilization or even surgery.

The PRICE protocol should be applied as soon as possible (Protection / Rest / Ice / Compression / Elevation).

More concretely, it is necessary to compress, to glaze, to authorize the support according to the pain, to put at rest, and to put in elevation.

The urgency is to limit the appearance of swelling.

It is therefore necessary to compress and ice as quickly as possible. Then consult a health professional able to treat this type of injury. Additional examinations may be indicated.

Namely: the radio is not automatic. It is useful to rule out more serious pathologies such as bone fracture / tearing.

Other possible injuries in this area:

  • Rupture of the Achilles tendon,
  • Rupture of the plantar fascia,
  • Fracture and / or bone removal,
  • Tendon dislocation,
  • Complete rupture of the ligament system.

When are we playing again?

Once these pathologies are removed and the diagnosis is validated the first question of the player is " when will I be able to replay ? ".

The gravity is established and validated from the 3e day. It can be done on ultrasound. However clinical signs are essential to define the date of return to the field.

Classically the recovery time after an ankle sprain is from a few days to several weeks. (from simple elongation to total tear)

During healing, the main areas of reeducation work over time are:

  • Decreased swelling and hematoma
  • Recovery of joint amplitudes
  • Recovery of muscle and proprioceptive quality.

The return to the field for a classical patient must be done with optimal muscle and proprioceptive quality.


Proprioception is the automatic and unconscious perception of the body, limbs, their position and movement in space. When the ligament is affected it causes the appearance of muscle weakness, a decrease in proprioception and compensations.

The ankle has a peculiarity, the time of injury of the ligament is less than the reaction time of the muscles preventing the sprain. This means that the ankle muscles work in anticipation and not in reaction. This peculiarity has its consequence in the muscular work of recovery. We must learn the ankle to anticipate and not react.

In the absence of appropriate treatment, the risks are: Persistence of pain Risk of recurrence Chronic instability. And therefore a decrease in performance.

How to minimize the risk?

With the help of an optimal muscular and proprioceptive quality BIS and a warm-up to awaken the incriminating musculature.

Here is a list of exercises to introduce in the warm-ups to strengthen and prepare your ankle to play:

  • Reception work - being able to use musculature to control reception.
  • Propulsion quality work - be able to trigger using the foot muscles and the

These two qualities will make it possible to acquire quality rebound (to receive and to revive quickly) in
adding the speed component needed for performance.

  • Balance work using the compensations at the ankle.
  • Educational work of foot and foot-specific musculature (without a good footing efficiency is

These qualities can be worked in different ways, using unstable plan, scale of
rhythm or even directly on the ground and so on.

During a simple warm-up, a work on flat ground with shoes is enough .. These tools are interesting during the rehabilitation or during a specific physical preparation.

It is therefore important to wake your ankle to minimize the risk of injury.

Preventive work of physical preparation can be done also to avoid the injury but also
to increase physical performance.

But again, the injury is a rare event. So do not focus on it.

Warm up well to get the most out of your sport.

For any questions and remarks, do not hesitate to contact me

See you soon and good Padel.

Clément Oudart - clementoudart @padelmagazine.fr

Clement Oudart

Clément Oudard is our medical expert. Physiotherapist and passionate about padel, Clément lets you learn about how to train off the pitch… And we know how important it is to last in sport.