Badly sprained ankle

Hi All

Well, here I am, foot elevated and wrapped due to a very nasty twisted ankle.

The story: on route to gym on Wednesday, took a mis-step on the pavement and very badly twisted ankle. Being bullheaded, I then proceeded to rub it gently, place a cold bottle of water against it for a few minutes and go straight into a 5k training run.

Two days later, I can barely walk, the tennis ball on my foot (also known as "an ankle") is....well, the size of a tennis ball, black and blue and very swollen.

Think twice before training on what you think is a minor injury - I'm guessing that this little accident will probably cost me at least a week's training.

Which leads me onto the real purpose of this post - has anyone else suffered a very bad ankle sprain and if so, how long did you wait until you started training again. Also, once you started training, did you go back to where you left off or did you gradually work up to your previous level?

:) jem


  • I sprained my ankle on the 28th August - racing a Duathlon on holiday in Lanzarote - I'd done 500m of 2.5k on the last leg when I had to jump off the pavement to avoid an oncoming runner. Went over on my left ankle, but 'cos I was in second place and a better runner than the leader carried on to finish the race. (didn't catch him in the end though - pooh !)

    So I've been hobbling round since then and yesterday was about the first day I could think about running. I have been swimming in between though. I didn't strap it or anything til I got home though - so that might go in your favour. I reckon a week might be safe.

    And I wouldn't push it - the benefits you'd get by trying too hard are outweighed by the risks.

    Good luck !
  • Hi Cougie :)

    Many thanks for the well wishes and advice -has made me feel a little better and am doing my best not to feel to sorry for myself now :)

    Will definitely try not to go back to training too quickly/too hard and will let you know how it goes - definitely think i'll be out of training for at least a week.

    Haven't had it looked at by a doctor because honestly, I can barely walk on it at this point so am assuming it's just badly twisted. If it continues to be as painful as it has been for the last two days, I'll try and get to the doctors on Monday.

    Have a great weekend and thanks again
    :) jem
  • Jem,
    I suffered from weak ankles & would twist them badly or not so badly every now & then.
    You'll know yourself when to start training again, I'd have thought a week was about right, but we're all different.
    You're ankle will be very week for a while now & you have to build the ankle & prevent a reaccurance.
    Firstly get an anle suport from the chemist, yes they are uncomfortable. This will give your ankle some added strength whilst you're traing on it in a weakened state.
    Next get some surgical elastic to use to strengthen the ankle. Tie it in a loop and then hook it over the injured foot & over something solid, pull against it. Do this a few times a day.
    This one's a goody. Stand on one leg (the injured one) for 10 secs and then see if you can stand on the injured leg for 30 secs
    with your eyes closed.
    If the problem pursists get a wobble board as these build strength & balance. There was a thread on where to get one in this section a few weeks ago.
    Best of luck,
  • Pizza Man - thanks for the advice - some very good reminders in your message about supporting and strenthening the ankle - pleased to say that the swelling appears to have begun to subside but I definitely think it will be at least a week before I can start to train - will be getting proper ankle support later today and will have a chat with a friend re: wobble board :)

    :) jem
  • Pizzaman - good idea on the wobble board - I'm sure one of the mags had an offer on them - about £15 as I recall.
    Where are my back issues ?
  • cougie/pizzaman

    re: wobbleboard, i have a friend who works at a gym who's hopefully going to get me one that i can use for a bit.

    pleased to say that after 4 days of attempting to sit still, icing and wrapping, the swelling has gone down considerably, to the extent that i can actually walk quite comfortably now although at certain times (e.g. walking up steps), i can feel a slight twinge in my ankle.

    i'm not going to overdo going back to training though - will probably start back on friday with some light cycling and core work, etc with strapping.

    thanks again to everyone for the advice,etc

    :) jem

  • After getting back to full fitness after an ankle injury on my right foot last November, I was really pleased
    with my training and on Saturday took part in the Chalfont 10k. I say 'took part' because
    unfortunately I didn't finish. Half way around, and disaster struck again on the uneven ground.
    The left foot gave way underneath me and I heard the familiar crackle of torn ligaments.
    So, after aiming for a 40 minute 10k I am now back to square one, with an attractive
    bruised looking ankle and an entrance into the Ministry of Silly Walks.
    As I was half way when it went I had no choice but carry on and hobble back (stupid - I know!)
    I RICE'd on Sat/Sun. I have already got a 'wobble board' from which
    will come in useful when I can start the physio on it.

    At the moment though generally feeling very sorry for myself and not looking forward to taking 3 steps back.
    Jem - keep me posted on how you get on. I've got the Nike 10k in 2 weeks, but it's looking extremely doubtful.

  • hi Brendon - so sorry to hear about your ankle - and in the middle of a race too :(

    i KNOW what you mean about feeling sorry for yourself - i was just starting to get into some decent speed training work when my injury happened (on top of which I'm trying to lose some excess weight in order to improve my running generally).

    i've been moping around for the last 4 days now but i keep telling myself that the more i take care of the ankle by taking a rest/not training, icing and strapping, the sooner i can get back into training.

    hang in there!! i've also got a Kingston 8 miler that I'm running in October and that training has been put on hold as well :(

    another thing that i find helps is if i keep reminding myself that the occasional training "re-set" is a good thing - that when i get back into training, it will be with renewed vigour (but obviously not so much that I damage my ankle again)!

    :) jem

    p.s. thanks for the link to the wobbleboard suppliers - very handy!
  • Brendon,
    Was that you who fell off the style just behind me? I finnished in 39.30.
  • Pizza Man

    I didn't fall of the style. My ankle went in the ploughed field across the top of the

    Good time yourself - well done. How did you feel about the terrain being that you
    suffer from weak ankles too?

  • Jem

    Sorry to hear about you ankle, my advise would be not too try coming back too soon. A few months ago I twisted mine. The problem was that I tried coming back too soon ignoring what I thought was a slight twinge. The end result was another 2 weeks of moping around wanting to get out again!

    The guys here were very helpful though with suggestions for getting back on the road again. Swimming seemed to be the thing that really got the strength back in the ankle. Strapping the ankle the first few weeks really helped even if it did seem to make running feel strange. last weekend marked the first long run without the additional support and it felt great!

    Like you running in the Nike 10K or should that be a combination or running and walking.... I think the later but it's a lot better than the view a few months back.

    Good luck in the Nike 10K
  • Ordered the wobble board today - I'll let you know how I get on with that. I'll probably fall off the darn thing and break a leg. :-(
  • hi RunMike :), it's Brendan who's doing the Nike 10K (he also sprained his ankle too). I tried to sign up for that but entries had filled by the time I tried to register (2 days after registration had opened!). My next race is in Kingston in October (8 miles) and I was just starting a new speed work routine as part of my training when I twisted my ankle last week.

    cougie/pizzaman - ordered my wobbleboard yesterday so am hoping it gets here soon.

    went into gym today for very light workout -core strength work (e.g. working on wobbleboard), upper body weights and 15 mins VERY light cycling. felt great but my ankle was letting me know towards the end of the workout that it was tired.

    something else i can recommend for strains, etc if you haven't tried it already - any type of ibuprofen gel (provided you're not allergic to ibuprofen!). i've been using the Radian gel and Nurofen gel and they're both really good - a bit gooey to put on but very cooling and pain relieving.

    :) jem
  • Jem & Cougie, good luck with the wobble boards. In the meantime have you been standing on 1 leg with your eyes shut? Hard 'n it. Me & my 2 boys used to make a game of it to see who could do it the longest.

    Brendon, whenever I go off road I tend to watch the ground a couple of yards in front, scanning it to see where my foot will land, & touch wood have not had a problem for 14 months 7 then it was only minor. I know one day it will happen again ....hopefully not for a while.

  • pizzaman - tried the standing on one leg yesterday at the gym - yes, very hard! <lol>
    my ankle protested in due course, reminding me to take it easy! :)

    can't wait for the wobbleboard to arrive!

    :) jem
  • Hey - got the wobble board yesterday - good service or what ?

    Played on it a bit - very difficult, but I can already feel it starting to work a bit.
    I'll play more at the weekend. Although maybe a nights drinking (as planned for this evening - after a track session) might be just as beneficial - wobble wise.

  • hey cougie - likewise, got my wobble board and activa disc day before yesterday (brilliant service) and have been having a good play with them!

    can definitely feel the benefits already - ankle feels well worked out!

    re: wobbling and drinking - just don't do both at the same time (i.e. get on the wobble board AND drink)! <lol>

    :) jem
  • Has anyone tried the "wobble cushion" I am going on holiday and want to rehab my ankle there. It looks like the cushion thing will fit in the suitcase better than the board, any advice greatly received.

  • hi jamie

    i got the wobble cushion (called activa disc by physioonline) - it's really good, as long as you make sure you inflate it enough.

    :) jem
  • Well I've had the wobble board for about 5 days now, and really think its helped me. My ankle feels lots stronger, and I actually enjoy being on the wobble board.

    So does my wife, as I can do the dishes at the same time as heal my ankle. Everyone wins !
  • cougie - great stuff with the wobble board -i, too, have noticed a definite improvement whilst using it. I've also been using an activa disc (wobble disc), which has also helped alot (i've actually been using it to help with my posture more than anything else as it makes a GREAT seat cushion)!

    :) jem
  • Wobble disc might be handy for my wife - she left her job as a secretary after having back pain although she swapped her chair around 100's of times to cure it. Now she's a Fitness instructor and her back is fine. Weird - sitting down is bad, but jumping around is good.

    Cheers Jem !
  • Yeah I can relate to that! Sitting at a computer 8 hours a day at work can cause very bad back problems, I never had any until the beginning of the year when I was flat on my back for a couple of weeks with excruciating lumbar pain. The doc said to make sure I get up at least 5 mins every hour and stretch. Never get any pain while exercising - think it's because sitting in a chair in front of a pc you are generally in the same position all the time. Anyway, I've put this on another thread, but I swear by an American product called Air Cast - it's 2 rigid plastic pieces with a material strip that goes under your foot, and it's held on with Velcro straps, once you have it on air is pumped into the side bits until they fit your calf properly. It's designed to be worn with running shoes, and once on you can run almost normally, certainly can bike, and it shortens recovery time. Both my husband John and myself suffered ankle injuries a couple of weeks before Ironman triathlon (though in different years)and both of us managed to complete the event after using Air Cast to recover. You can begin to walk and run normally as soon as the swelling goes down. John actually did Ironman while wearing his!
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