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Recovering from a sprained ankle?

by Craig
(Dumfries, UK)

I was out running 9 weeks ago, when I sprained my ankle quite badly. I had to limp almost a mile to get back home, and by the time I got home my ankle was bigger than my calf, and was many interesting shades of black, blue, purple and green.

I went to the local A&E where my ankle was x-rayed, and I was told it was not broken only badly sprained. I still had fairly bad bruising and swelling in the ankle after 4 weeks.

I could barely walk for the first two weeks, and all I was able to do was basic range of motion movements but these were limited.

After 2 weeks I was able to move on to resistance bands, and after 4 weeks the wobble board, and 6 weeks I started cross training.

I tried running towards the end of week 8 and I managed to run about 50-100 yards before I started to feel twinges in my ankle and these got worse and I therefore stopped by the time I got to 200 yards. All of my running is done on roads rather than track or treadmill.

I'm torn between continuing cross training in order to keep my fitness up, and getting back to running, but I am assuming that the fact that my ankle is still sore that it hasn't healed and therefore I might be doing more damage?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Craig,
Thanks for your question about your sprained ankle and running.

Sprained ankles can talk a whole long time to heal completely. The problem is that you use your ankles constantly while walking, so it is hard to get them to rest properly.

I would definitely suggest you keep up the cross training and stay away from running.

It is hard to say when and if you need to go back to the doctor. Sometimes a cortisone injection can be the thing that lifts you over the dead point.

I had a knee problem last year that just wouldn't go away no matter how many anti-inflammatories I took and how much rest I had. In the end a cortisone injection got me back to running after months and months of struggling.

So if this continues, go see your doctor again and make clear all the things you have done and the time it has taken.

Once you are back running, make sure you build up slowly. Don't do to much intense work, but stick with base running drills for a while and make sure to increase your mileage safely.

Best of luck.
Kind regards,

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