Ankle Sprain Exercises & Rehab
I sprained my ankle. Here is how I took care of it and the exercises I am doing to help rehab & build strength
Injuries happen to all of us they can be devastating, painful, prohibitive and make us question the strength and ability of our bodies.
I can't speak for how anyone else might deal with theirs but I can tell you how I dealt with mine and hoe I have found the positive side to this debilitating incident.
Just over two weeks ago I feel back and twisted my foot underneath me whilst doing some step ups on a high bench. My foot Inverted, twisted inwards and I tore the ligaments in the side of my ankle.
First things first, after the world stopped spinning and the nausea passed (it hurt quite a bit).I didn't allow the lovely people around me to help me up. I stayed on the ground and foot my foot immedietley up on the bench, pulled my toes back towards me firmly and held it. Then waited around 10 minuets whilst I tried to work out how bad it was. Problem with these type of injuries it isn't always clear at first how bad they are, the pain had subsided and it wasn't swelling, yet!
So what to do next I thought.... Go Home, Elevate and Ice.
One short drive, a throbbing ankle by now and I am on the sofa. Foot up, higher than the heart, Ice pack on and Ibuprofen taken, all of which are to reduce the swelling.
I take Arnica also and use the Arnica Gel which also helps bring out the bruising and reduce swelling, in my opinion this helps a huge amount with any injury especially if can be used/taken quickly.Inevitably the bruising comes out, see picture, it is a corker!! and the swelling does begin. It is painful but I can walk and weight bear. I think it cannot be that bad but the ankle bone is very sore and I landed on the side so I decide after a couple of days a trip to A&E is probably wise to check no fracture. After a 3 hour wait and excellent care and very kind staff at my local Conquest Hospital A&E they decide not broken just bad tear to ligaments on the lateral part of my ankle. They fit my up with an ankle boot and send me off with a pair of crutches. All for free!! I love the NHS! I am not a fan of the boot or the crutches and the Doc advised keep it moving and keep walking on it, elevate and Ice when you can but 'DO NOT STOP & OVER REST' this is key actually the worst thing we often do with injuries is immobilise for fear of making it worse. This is when pain is your friend. If it hurts more than it did stop!
So what do you do next, well this is my process it might not be for everyone and I appreciate I also had to spend money to get to where I am but I think it was worth it.
Firstly I ditched the crutches and the ankle support boot. This just out to much pressure on my hips as it makes the pelvis unbalanced. I used Kinesiology tape, see photo of pink strapping. This helps support the ankle when feeling loose but it is flexible so allows the swelling and doesn't restrict movement. you can buy it on amazon for around £5 a roll and there are loads of great 'how to' videos online.
Acupuncture - for me I respond well to acupuncture and although of course it cannot heal torn ligaments it can massively help with pain, swelling and speed healing.
.Physiotherapy - I am lucky I have a client who is a Physio and she showed me the exercises to do in the little video, see below. Again let pain be your guide as soon as it hurts I stop.
Also she advised keep up with the Ice and Elevation for quite a long time even as gets better to keep the swelling to a minimum. Good advise because in this heat (we had 34 degrees this week) it has been the size of a small football!
Kinesiology - Again I am fortunate to know someone but a session usually costs around £30. This is gentle massage through the meridian (Chinese medicine) of the line where I damaged the foot. So basically from the buttocks downwards, finding some very sore spots which she relieves with pressure and allows the energy and flow back to the foot. Almost immediately found walking was easier and pain reduced. I have a follow up sesson next week (3 weeks on from injury). .Lastly - Sports Massage... Yes i know sounds painful but actually really it wasn't too bad, it was 2 weeks on so we started carefully but worked quite hard on my calve, hamstring and IT band which had all tightened up as a result. The swelling went down completely! This massage moved all the fluid away from the foot, it felt great after! .Other things I have done myself are the exercises shown below 2-3 times daily, continue with the Arnica, Ice, Elevation and own leg massage. .Two weeks and two days into this and I am walking normally, I don't need the tape support anymore and I am returning to gentle load bearing exercise but listening to my body and steering clear of pain. I do not know how long it will fully take but my guess is 4-6 weeks. I actually feel grateful for the injury it has made me rest and take care of myself, alter any workouts I have done to focus on Core, Back and Arm Strength. That is the beauty of Pilates no matter what you have done there is always a modification..
My wish is my story gives some hope to those with injury, do not let it get you down or berate your body for failing but look after yourself, take care, learn from it and enjoy the recovery time...