How to fix a sprained ankle 2

One of my most frequently hit up posts on this blog is my ‘how to fix an ankle’ post. Therefore, as I know people are coming here for it, a part 2 is definitely in order. This time a progress report to my healing, day by day… I wouldn’t talk it if I wasn’t prepared to walk the words in the original post.

Day 0: tuesday

Double leg attempt to rolled ankle.
Loud ‘crack’ sound heard from my foot, thought ‘broken bone’, rolled about holding my foot saying ‘arghhhh’ etc. Stop saying ‘arghh’ started to press and feel around the ankle to assess the damage. Couldn’t see anything freaky tho, so stood up to put weight on it. Felt ok-ish enough to walk back to the steps and sit down. Knew that the swelling would soon kick in, so sat massaging the damaged muscles and tendons. By the time I’d driven home the ankle was properly swollen, restricting movement. I iced it, tightly wrapped it, took paracetamol and slept.

Day 1: wednesday

Woke to a super stiff and swollen ankle, and hobbled about. Considered going to work, thought against it, and phoned the Dr to get him to check it out. Couldn’t wear my sloppy iPaths, too swollen. Wore a pair of super low cut vans instead. Perfect. Hobbled into the Drs. Got the all clear.

Was told RICE = Rest, Ice, Compression & Elavation. I never liked that theory.

  • Rest – no thanks,
  • Ice – made everything cold and seized up,
  • Compression – meh, fair enough,
  • Elavation – how exactly? I’m at work all day!

Now I do believe that this rice approach works, I’m just not sold on it working 100% for ankle’s and particularly people that want to get full movement and weight on it asap. Here’s a good example of RICE in action @ sunliveorio which shows an ‘injury’ and how rice should be applied to work effectively. In my experience tho… by the time I get home or to a location whereby I can apply the rice technique, my ankle would already be swollen, cooled and stiffened up. Therefore…

My approach is HIMS, Heat, Ice, Movement & Stretch.

  • Heat – to keep the joint supple for walking normally,
  • Ice – to bring out the bruising,
  • Movement – keep the mobility happening &
  • Stretch – to get full extension out of all muscles and tendons. 

Please note: If you suffer from hemophilia I wouldn’t recommend appling heat, as this will only spread the flow of blood around the damaged area even further. Please consult your Dr about what to do in the event of this type of injury.

Anyways….. I walked out of the surgery normally, but in pain. Began pushing all my weight on the foot, as I knew there wasn’t any bone damage, took a walk into town before driving home. Painful changing gears. After the walk, my movement was returning slightly. Swelling still there, unavoidable really. Got back to my town, and took another walk around the shops……determined to keep it moving. Chilled in a coffee shop for a bit. Then home, paracetemol and back to work. Sat at the desk wiggling my foot about and getting up on it at every opportunity.

Day 2: thursday

Slept without the compresion bandage. Foot felt really stiff again, took a hot shower, firing the water all over the ankle. Got the movement going again. Kept my weight fully in it throughout the day, always moving. Walked around town for lunch, forcing the movement. Felt painfully good. Steps are a bitch. Going up is ok, walking down hurts like hell. Did a buncha handstands against the livingroom wall at home. Painful / restrictive stepping up into and out of it. Good, did it a number of times. Haven’t looked at the ankle all day, don’t wanted to be reminded of how ugly it looks, that will only hamper my ability to force it to move. Did a buncha stretching exercises until I cried. felt good. Considered going to the gym tonight to take photos or film people. didn’t.

Day 3: Friday

stiff ankle again in the morning…. the bruising is pretty much all out the swelling is still there. Full rotation about the ankle is there. still pain in several stretched positions. Its looking like I’ll be back at the gym next week. Amazing!

Day 4: Saturday

At times I forgot completely that i’ve damaged my ankle, no pain whilst walking up and down stairs. Noticed I have a degree of limited movement when squating down on to my heels.. the left (damaged) ankles’ heel rises up off the floor before the right heel. Shows I need to stretch it out a bit more still. Will have a go at freeing up the tight areas by pushing a screwdriver handle into it later on. Oh, and I arranged to go skating on Sunday. Duh ….  shows that the pain and restrictive movement is sufficiently gone enough to think about doing stuff.

Day 5: Sunday

Regret not taking photos of my ankle healing process now…. maybe next time. Seriously considering going to the gym Monday and doing some light stuff, think it’ll be a good idea. Just to reiterate, I’ve been continually moving my ankle, never letting it rest, stretching it out whenever I can and always trying to walk normally, right from day 1. Ignoring the pain and dealing with it. Works for me. 5 days ago I seriously thought I broken a bone, hence the reason I went to the Dr’s (as I normally wouldn’t) now I’m thinking about getting up to the gym again. stoked.

Now read what can you do with a knackered ankle?



Filed under injuries, Pain, Tricking

49 responses to “How to fix a sprained ankle 2

  1. lol check out my swollen foot 9 months ago:

    That was the worst one I’ve ever had in my life. Nearly broke my foot but luckily it didn’t break (cuz I didn’t have health insurance!!). 9 months later, I still have swollen but it’s a lot better than before.

  2. that ankle looks pretty normal to me. The reason I’m guessing its still puffy now, is probably due to the way it was treated in the first 24hrs. Eiter way, don’t accept the swelling, work the foot out hard, walking, swimming, cycling etc. Try not to look at it consider it, or tell people about it. If its in your mind all the time, then you won’t want to push it to its limits. Pain is good, make sure you have 100% movement, if you don’t then stretch it until you do. good luck.

  3. Sandra

    I sprained both ankles two months ago, with (not sure of the spelling) an evulsion fracture on the left as well – the foot had bent right back and as it stretched it pulled a bit of bone off. Probably a good thing in a way because it relieved the pressure. I went to the emergency department of a hospital where the fracture was noted, but the doctor couldn’t understand why I was having trouble with the right foot because there wasn’t a break there! I pointed out that possibly there was tissue damage. Aaah doctors. I did my own diagnosis (what a pity I hadn’t found your site before this. Used the crutches I’d been given for fully half a day and decided I needed to walk. I also gave away the painkillers as I decided I needed to get the feedback my body was giving me. I stayed home for a week, doing the RICE, then went back to work and saw a physiotherapist that day. He was great, and showed me how my reflex brain was making the decisions about some of the movements it was prepared to let my foot do – it had decided the ankles needed protection and there were movements I should have been able to do but were impossible. The physio explained that the exercises he was giving me were retraining the brain. I’m completely uninterested in fitness and sport, but talk to me about the brain, and then I see it. Because of that explanation, I’ve been doing the exercises when I would otherwise have dropped them out. What you say (apart from taking the painkillers) fits in very well with your advice combined with my physiol

  4. ahh cool. I didn’t know about the reflex brain thing. I know that our brain does a good job at protecting us from further damage, but didn’t realise exactly how much it can divert our energies to stop us damaging it again! I’m also very interested in the brain more than the sport… people train their muscles a lot, when really they be training their brain too.

  5. Mateo

    I have never heard it is good to keep using your sprained foot instead of resting it. I have read dozens of posts on many websites and they all say to rest it. I rolled my foot 2 days ago and have been trying to figure out what to do. I do notice that when I keep walking on it, it gets less painful than when i rest it and then stand on it for the first time. After what I’ve read it seems that it is most likely just sprained and that I should rest it (do the RICE thing). With everything people have said I don’t know how you could have healed so quickly by basically straining a strain.

  6. Hello. It’s me, Aaron Hall. It’s been 7 months since my last response. I wanted to let you guys know that it took about a year to heal up my ankle and it’s a lot better now! I am able to play bball and soccer! w00t! Thanks to your amazing information!

  7. hello aaron.. damn a year is a long time! not even a broken bone takes that long to recover. glad you’re all sorted now tho :)

  8. Stacey

    i sprained my ankle and pulled the ligaments in my foot on the inside of my foot a week ago… i have a bone spur on the inside of my foot where i pulled the ligametns around and thats wuts still hurting…the sprained ankle is healed i dont feel any pain around that area….i been walking on it to see if it helps and the more i walk the more pain im in on the inside of my foot where the spur is….i dont know how to keep from being in so much pain with that and the dr at the hospital told me that those injuries heal very quickly…so y am i still in pain

  9. Drs are suppose to leave you feeling confident of their words, if not, visit your Dr again – or go back and ask to see a different Dr as you weren’t happy with your original ones’ diagnosis.

  10. Roman

    You’re my new hero! I am obese, totally out of shape, in my golden years and have severely sprained my ankle. Until yesterday I was in pain, couldn’t walk for more than two block to the grocery store (my injury occured 30 days ago), I was limping, focusing to the ankle and so on.
    Then I read your post and said, f* this guy is right. No pain! No complaining. I went out and walked for 10 miles!! Today I feel fantastic. The pain is here, more because I am fat than because of the injury but I ignore it. I’d been excercising at home toda, watching F1 / Wimbledon and tomorrow will be up for another 10 miles. Thank you man!!

  11. Woo! go me :D Seriously tho, glad to hear you’re forcing yourself to get well! Keep it up :)

  12. elvin

    the anatomy of the ankle sux! seriously we should have evolved a stopping mechanism, more flexible tendons or ligaments/muscle…as a skateboarder this is my worst nightmare.. my question is….if the tendon/muscle/ligament is torn, isn’t worst to stretch the damage area. even thou i say that i have SEEN with my own experience that moving it and not threating it like a bitch works best! i just sprained my ankle today!(Tuesday,weird huh?) im giving it 3 days to heal..hahahahah thats all the patience/weed i have!

  13. cguls

    Hi Elvin,
    I just came across this site when i was searching for answers for my sprained foot which happened 2 days ago. I’ve been to the podiatrist and done an MRI, results are to come in 2 days to know if there is a fracture/broken bone or not. I’ve been following the RICE method, using crutches and not using my foot at all…but after reading everyone’s views here, it sounds like I should start moving again even if it hurts…have you seen any difference, Elvin?

  14. I sprained my ancle yesterday right b4 the 1st tee@miniature golf. It hurt like a mudafuker but I wasn’t going 2ruin my mans day. I played 18 holes, then another 18. Went home my man bragged about our great scores and decided to go golfing to a real course. I was in great pain but anything to make my man happy. Ignored the pain and played another 18. 2day went 2drs got a splint, a pair of crutches, & a Rx for Vicodin. I kept moving it cuz it felt good….and after reading this I’m throwin those crutches away and stepping on it as much as I can. I have a party 2go2 on Saturday, I almost canceled but I think after stretchin and walking on it…..I’ll walk right in there and have a great time ;)’ tnx so much!!!!!!

  15. leah

    i have 2 sprained ankles right now. my front ankle that i skate with doesnt hurt when i ollie but hurts to kickflip. i have full movement in both ankles but when i move them certain ways up against my board it hurts. im afraid that kickfliping and stretching them will tear or stretch the ligaments further and take it longer to heal. what do you think

  16. austin

    leah same shit happened to me 7 days ago and i still cant ollie kickflip or do anything. ive been trying everything and nothing works.

  17. ^^ 2 above replies – Same is happening to me now. Its been 2 weeks for me, and anytime I land on my right ankle I get searing pain like my original injury. Interested to hear either of you reply and let me know when skating will feel normal again. Im really fearful that this is one of those “permanent injuries” and I’ll have to wear some sort of dopey brace for the rest of my skating life.

  18. i badly sprained my ankle 5 wks ago, hospital x rayed it, and it wasnt broken, but the drs examination said i had torn ligaments and muscle, the pain for the first 2 wks was unbelievable, worse in the middle of the night when it got hot in bed. The foot started to itch and i knew it was healing inside,the pain has nearly gone, though the ankle is still really week and movement in it is still restricted, can stiffly rotate my foot, but it doesnt feel like my foot, its very strange. The bruising is now going, but my foot is a reddish colour compared to the other, no rash, but the swelling keeps coming and going, what am i doing wrong? Could the torn ligaments be infected?

    • All I no is that I sprained mine beginning of January and it still swell every night and hurts like is not red though nor iching my opinion if there is not an open wound how could there be infection. This probably doesn’t help. Maybe if you’re in canada phone telehealth and see what they say.

  19. Speak to a Dr, not a website.

  20. 2 in a half months ago I spained my anckle pretty nasty the hospital with xray said it was not broke. I have kept active since a week after it happened but it hurt like hell and if I land on it the wrong way it kills.I have to work on my feet and I’m a mother of 3 it is swollen still every night. Is this normal maybe I should get it re-xrayed but I hate wasting my time.

    • I can’t help you here I’m afraid, but if the hospital says it isn’t sprained then I’ll bet it isn’t. Unless you’re used to the pain an ankle can give you then you may think that its still broken. See Dr’s advice obviously, but try pressing in all areas around the ankle to find the specific pain point, unless its a sharp instant ‘raw’ pain, then I’m guessing it is fine, just need stretching out, increasing the movement on it each day.

  21. Eli

    Just sprained my right ankle yesterday, setting up for a jacknife, and it jut rolled over and I fell the opposite way. Hurt pretty bad but I got some ice at the gym and iced it for about 15 minutes. After putting some weight on it I figured if I could use it at all I better do it now because it’s gonna hurt like hell tomorrow. So I threw some butterfly twists (don’t really need my right foot too much for those anyway) and walked on it a lot. I was trying to decide what to do to help heal it and after reading this I’m gonna give your method a try. I want to be back at the gym next Wednesday and I’ll do whatever it takes to do so! Thanks for the article!

    • wow, thats good that you managed to get some more out of the session before the swelling and pain really set in. Good luck with the recovery and I hope my method works for you. If it does, let me know :) mark

  22. nancy

    Yea I just sprain my right ankle and It sucks!I am trying to lose weight now and I cant head to the gym now. I am starting a very very low fat diet since i cant work out anytime soon. I dont want to rush recovery since I could have a relaps. I think I am going to use Crutches for a week and slowly get rid of them.??? any ideas. The ER Dr just said it was a Sprain.. I dont know how bad I tore my ligment.I wish the Dr would of said so..??? Should I try to get a copy of the xrays ??

    • Don’t bother. The Dr’s see these issues all the time, if they say nothing is broken, believe them. Seeing x-rays won’t help you, just start moving the foot as good as you can keep working it every day. if you don’t see an improvement within a few days, go back to your Dr.

  23. Alex

    Just sprained my left ankle for the second time this year. It wasn’t as bad as when it happened the first time but still killed. Damn hardflips the board went vertical into the inside of my knee and I landed on my ankle sideways.
    I used this method the first time it happened and after 2 weeks I was a lot better, I could skate but didn’t try any flip tricks. Now after following this method and RICE I am slowly walking on it with a slight limp the next day.

  24. Wow! Thanks for letting me know this. I have so many issues with ‘experts’ on here, telling me that what I’m offering is medically wrong, yet it’s people like you that convey (along with my experience) that there is another way for some people. I’m glad the technique and spread the word to your skating mates – I hate it when I see skaters struggling to get back fit again. We need to roll! haha. cheers – Mark :)

  25. Kevin

    Just sprain my ankle today moving a damn washer drier combo down some stairs, moving things is so fun! Iced it twice took some ibuprofen and now I’m forcing myself to walk the stairs again. Knowing that the damage is done and there’s nothing I’m gonna do to mess it up more makes me confident in pushing it. Pain sucks, but I need to get back to the gym. Love the articles on here. Looking forward to a quick recovery.

  26. Tom

    Gah, sprained my ankle last night at a gymnastics place doing invert sideflips – rotated in the air, landed straight on the side of my foot and my ankle bent. I managed to walk home a fair few miles thinking it was okay, but now this morning i can barely fricking walk! It’s probably not broken, I’m not gonna bother going to the doctors cos im sure if my ankle was broken i’d be in a lot more pain.
    I’m thinking I’ll just ice it a bit, start hobbling and stretching and hope for the best hehe; i’m a drummer and i’ve got a few shows, one this saturday in just under a week, and I can’t use the bass drum pedal!

  27. Tom

    Ah, f*** that – just did some bass drum exercises and I can still keep up to scratch, I’m thinking if I can play well with a sprained ankle I should be able to play amazingly without one hah.

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  29. Yohanna

    I dislocated my ankle 2 weeks ago, I didn’t know anything about taking care of injuries like that however in my culture we have people call the “rubbers” very old men who rubs the injury and with their hands puts the bone back in place to avoid ankle cast that might take several months. I went to the rubber and he push the bone back in place SO MUCH PAIN but it was only for 5 seconds, and I was able to walk out. however I didn’t know anything about elevating or anything else, so sure enought it got swollen and bruises all over purple and green. The same night I took some antibiotics in case of infection and anti-inflammatory medication, I had a feeling that movement was something I had to do to avoid my muscles degeneration but everyone kept telling me to rest otherwise the ankle was not going to heal. Now the bruises are gone and most of the swollen too. However it still hurts when I walk and it gets swollen when I walk so I’m not sure if my ligaments are damage or if indeed I have to keep it moving AND IT HURTS???
    I have pictures of the improvements and every night I massage the injury with bengay I did couple of stretching exercises I saw online but I’m not sure what to do???

    • First the legal bit. I am not a Dr and you should never listen to a random bloke on the internet regarding your own health.

      In my limited experience. Once a dislocation is back in place and you can walk out of there… things are pretty good for you. If in the process of ‘rubbing’ the bone back in place a nerve is trapped… you will certainly know about it! The pain will be unbearable with every little movement.

      Since it’s been so much time been dislocation and now.. I’m guessing that your joint is fine, you just need to work the tissue to get things moving again (just like a physiotherapist would do). Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will come on here and confirm this.

      Therefore, you can start working it yourself. Try my advice above and see what happens. Don’t worry, your body has a way of telling you if what I’m suggesting isn’t working! Listen to your body and stop if you can’t bear it. However the pain you’re experiencing in your ankle now, should ease with heat and gentle movement (in the painful motion) and increasing that movement over time. If in doubt, go to a Dr.

      Good luck, and let me know how it goes – Mark

  30. I have a different approach to Marks although I reckon they probably work the same way I think.By walking on the foot you actually force the ankle to reset itself.Consequently everthing ie blood vessels,nerves ligaments muscles go back to their normal positions and so the body begins to repair itself.I have two different examples of sprains.that yielded quick results by jerking on the ankle abruptly.

  31. alison

    Rolled ankle Friday. Best news YET I’ve come across! Gym, here i come

  32. ty

    Mark, my doctor said i have a soft tissue swell and ligament tear. does this treatment still work for me?

  33. Tyler

    Hi, I have had a sprained ankle about a month ago, the day before my birthday at my birthday party, I was jumping on a trampoline, and landed the wrong way, just about the side of my foot and my foot rolled and crushed inwards horribly, after a few minutes in, I decided, since this is 16th my b-day party I mine as well jump till the time is over to enjoy the party till’ it’s last moments (this was over at skyzone, which is a trampoline place). I went to the doctors the day after (My foot was swollen), on my birthday limping in, the stares were a B****! but after finally hopping up the stare in agony I got into the doctors office. The doctors told me to use R.I.C.E. and gave me an Ace wrap They also said I would be fixed in about 4-5 days (Were they wrong!). I went to school the day after that with crutches my foot was still hurting horribly and I could stand on it, but a day after I decided that crutches were too much of a pain in the A** so I decided to limp into school, I wanted to put weight on it so badly, doing so on occasions because I wanted to get back into the soccer team ASAP. But after a few weeks I became dis-heartened if I can return in time before the season ends. But a few days back I read this article and I was like HELL YEAH!!! I started training my ankle and stretching, heating and icing it. and after a few days of your advice I feel almost very little pain! Compared to what it had been before I started reading your advice. It’s still swollen but it hurts a lot less, thanks a lot for the advice it heartens me that I can work my ankle even if it is still sprained, it also makes me think, how did cavemen fair with sprained ankles if they did not have a group to rely on for food? Did they just go on with the pain? Or did they just lay around and starve? That’s what made me think and want to try out, because I’m sick of just sitting around while my friends are running around like nothing really matters. I am planning to return to soccer slowly, pushing my ankle to it’s limits without spraining it ;)
    and about the doctor, I bet they don’t sprain their ankles too much, and I bet the doctors want to go with the least painful way, when it is in most probability the worst way.
    Thanks for the advice, I was itching to write this

  34. i just want to say that i am relieved i can get back to boxing….i had sprained my ankle 2 weeks ago and even though my foot was swollen, i was still jabbing and moving left and right with no pain…i was just nervous about the swelling and how it wasnt going away…but now i know its all based on te icing and heating…would you recommend me to keep on boxing since i am not feeling pain on the foot??? peacce.

  35. Alicia

    hey mark, i pulled the ligaments in my ankle 3 days ago and of course the doctors told me “their method” but i just don’t have time for that with everything in a day. so I went by your tips, stretching, walking on it, ice etc. and after 2 days ive been able to walk on it! still a bit bruised and swollen but feels amazing to be able to walk normallly, cheers. but im going out this weekend and its hard to get my foot into a heel, is there anything that will speed up getting rid of the swelling??

  36. Jason Green

    Definitely wish I chose your method now. Used the rice method and my ankle seized up and I still couldn’t walk after 8 days. Now I have to have physio and stretch constantly for it to righten itself. Now I have been given a doctors note for a further 10 days off! Three weeks in total. Wish I started walking on it a couple of days after.

  37. gen

    thank you Im on day 2. last night the pain was soooo bad I came across your post and started stretching and I walked on it just a bit around my place instead of jumping. this morning I notice a better range of movement and a bit more ability to walk still painfull. im going to see how I feel on day 3 before deciding if ill go into the emergency room and go through that crap.

  38. gabriel

    I sprained my ankle today, but I didn’t notice the pain until 2-3hours ago.I then seek aacupuncture and the pain was like almost completely gone. So I started walking again whilst the Dr told me to rest after acupuncture. It started hurting again… Judging from what I’ve told you, do you think my sprain is very minor?

  39. Reshi Raj

    Hey Mark, my names RJ. I’m from India and I’m practicing parkour. About 2months ago I did a frontflip from a height and I landed sideways with all my body weight on my right ankle, I snapped my tendons and dislocated my ankle. But now it’s pretty much healed up. But when I do a flip or jump off heights now it still hurts like its gonna snap again or somethin. Can you give me some tips to fix it?

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