this is my take on ankles. specifically sprained ankles. I’m not talking little tweaks either. I’m talking fully rolled ones, that swell up pretty much instantly (verging on dislocation) and/or completely ripping all tissues and tendons, causing bruising that starts going up the back of your leg (as well as everywhere else) and feels like you’ve broken your foot. Yeah, those are the best aren’t they?
Y’see the thing with rolling ankles is once you’ve established there’s no bone damage, there’s nothing more you can do to wreck them. Everything from the point of ‘rolling’ is the bodies way of healing. Once you are aware of this, your mental approach to your injury will change from ‘I’m out of action, and can’t do anything’ to ‘this is annoying, I’ll just go and fix it’. Sadly, the thing that stops us doing anything other than resting and icing is professional advice…. grrrrrr …. and my Dr is useless so I rarely visit and listen to him.
Dr’s will tell you to ‘ice-up and rest’ and there’s nothing more they can do for it. Fine, however that is also the same words of advice they offer an 85yr old person as they do a 15yr old person. This is useless to active people. We need to get back in action asap. There’s a lot you can do to get that fully rolled ankle working in probably a quarter of the time, most Dr’s claim it will take.
first understand what’s happened to your foot;
The tissues, have torn, the ankle is trying to protect itself and start healing by swelling up, allowing zero movement, until the bruising can come out. The ankle is damaged, the tissue cools and starts locking up the foot. Once you’ve established there’s no bones broken, you can start to reverse the damage.
Here’s what you do;
Always stand on it.
Stop being a moaning lightweight and complaining that ‘it hurts’. Its just pain, ignore it. Training your brain to accept that this is ‘good healing pain’, is the way forward. If like me, you’re always active, then suddenly being reduced to a wobbly cripple, because one of your joints decided to give way, then you’ll know the importance of being able to walk properly, like there’s no injury at all. Therefore, dump the crutches, stop hopping, and start walking like a normal human being again. It’ll take a while, but start as early as possible… Unless my foot is pointing the wrong direction, or worse then i’m walking out. none of that ‘hopping’ rubbish.
(you’ll notice i’m not being very sympathetic here? well thats because sympathy never healed anything)
never stop moving it
If you’re sat at a desk all day, keep rotating the foot, ignore the swelling, there’s nothing you can do about that, just get yourself a super sloppy pair of comfy ‘mid-height’ shoes (iPaths are perfect btw) and get used to it. next!
hot and cold
ice the foot to bring out the bruising, and heat the foot to keep the tissue soft and supple. Get an ice-pack on it, then get it in a hot bath straight away. For one of my worst injuries, I spent 2 days doing this continually. By the third day I was back at work and walking pretty good.
Standard movement isn’t enough, we’re athletes right? we need full movement in all our joints. Sure its going to hurt, but don’t be a wuss and wimp out on me. Take pain killers, smoke weed, do whatever you’ve gotta do to block out the pain, but push your ankle movements to the limit. Ignore the swelling, that’s just a pain in the ass, stretch the foot out in every direction as much as possible. Even if you get tears of pain, ignore that and keep pushing it. Tears are the bodies way of moaning. Ignore it.
Ta-daa. that’s it. nothing more to do. It can takes aaages to sort out this injury, but it shouldn’t take forever. In a few days: walking, a week: walking properly and being able to jump up and down etc. Note; it’ll take a lot longer to for the swelling to go down. This advice is learned from 20+yrs of rolling ankles on a skateboard, and learning from other skaters about dealing with rolled ankles.
Personally I have gone from a fully rolled, instantly swollen, can’t walk properly, ankle to being back on my board and skating (casually) in a week. So if you’ve anything less than a fully rolled ankle then, you’ll be back in action in no time.
Most people reading this, will think ‘yeah, but you haven’t seen ‘my’ ankle’ … uh-huh… your muscular composition is different to everyone else is it? I don’t think so.
hope this helps :)
BTW – I cannot reply if you comment on someone else’s comment. You need to make a brand new comment at the bottom of the page.
btw – This guy (who is a Dr) linked to this blog post for a bit and notice the third bullet, where he advises immobilisation isn’t advised, unless you’re hurting: