I know I'm the 1000th person to ask, but...

After a sprained ankle

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01/11/2002 at 22:08
All ye people out there

I'll not be the first I know, nor the last, but......
After spraining my ankle (not severely, as I have unfortunately done it before, which was severe)I want to train again. I'm only on a beginner's schedule (run/walk) but had been out for two weeks three times a week. I've missed four days now - just as I was noticing some progress.

Is it too soon to try tomorrow? Should I just give it a go and see if it hurts - and if not - keep going as per my schedule?

I have this memory of the sickening pain that sprained ankles bring and am a bit wary of trying. What do you professionals suggest?

I'm eager to get back to it

01/11/2002 at 22:14
Hi Jaybird

Is it hurting now? If so,then rest. Consider ice and, possibly, anti-inflammatories (although I say that with the usual disclaimer as I'm not medically qualified!!)

If you don't mind me asking... how did you sprain your ankle? I'm just wondering for example whether you need trainers with more stability?

Best wishes

01/11/2002 at 22:27
Hi H-R

Thanks for the reply. No it's not bad now - slight discomfort but tons better than it was. I actually sprained it while walking in a pair of 'sensible Clark's' shoes. I just put my foot down wrong on the pavement where it was sloped to allow for someone's drive entry - know what I mean?

As I said I've sprained it badly before (3 years since) when I 'went over' on a pair of silly sandals with a heel.

I did the same but tore ligaments and pieces of bone with the other ankle. In fact I was told at casualty when I initially did the other ankle that I 'merely had a sprain' and no x-ray was required. A later 're-injury' and first x-ray revealed the initial 'simple sprain' had been ligaments tearing chunks of bone from various areas of my ankle....

So as a result I now have two dodgy ankles. I'm overweight at the mo so that doesn't help, but I never wear 'heels' on my shoes that are higher than an inch.

My trainers are new and good - Ladies Nike Air 'pumona' or something similar, and were ok for the GNR.

Whaddya think?

03/11/2002 at 11:08

For what it's worth, I think you should be guided by your body but be prepared to become the boss if you need to. I know that sounds contradictory, so I'll try to explain.

With a new (last few days) injury - if it hurts at rest, stay resting, as HE says.

If it's OK at rest but hurts when you are moving it, that's your body saying that you are doing more damage or preventing the healing. Keep resting for a day or two.

After that, a minor injury (over-extended ligaments/muscles etc) get set in their ways and they will start to hurt when you try to get them back to a full range of motion. That's when you need to boss them around. Walk and run-walk to get them going but be aware of the level of discomfort - it should be discomfort only, not pain.

Whatever, build up gradually. Don't expect or try to do your normal distance for a few sessions.

In the mean time, try a low-impact exercise, bike, swim etc to keep the cardio-vascular fitness building.

I do waffle on, don't I? Better shut up now!

10/07/2003 at 02:28
I also hurt my ankle whilst doing the Womens 10k in Glasgow May 18th, crossing from road to pavement to avoid the walkers! I didn't exercise for a few weeks then started going to the gym (not the treadmill) and on my bike. As it was still tender, I went to see a physio who advised various exercises although it is still tender at times. I am keen to start running again for a 10k in September, what is the best thing to do. I obviously don't want to aggravate it anymore. Thanks
29/07/2005 at 13:50
I too hurt my ankle and found that cross training such as swimming will keep your fitness level until you can run again, when you feel you can run again, try runing on the beech or soft level ground. to exercise the ankle stand one foot, using the injured ankle to balance.
01/08/2005 at 11:02
I was having pain in my lower back extending down my left leg and one time when I was out running my leg felt numb and I had to stop running. I went for a sports massage and he said that my muscles were so tight that they couldn't stretch when I was running hence the pain. This may be related to the previous ankle injury. The massage was very sore at the time but well worth it and I will definetely be having regular massages!
12/08/2005 at 16:50
I too am recovering from a badly sprained ankle 5 weeks ago, the whole foot swollen, and black and blue. I have gradually started training again as I am entered for GNR. I still experience discomfort at the start of a run, which disappears as the run progresses. However in the morning before getting out of bed it really hurts and is very stiff as I hobble around the bedroom. does anybody know if this is normal and will it be ok to up my training?
12/08/2005 at 23:48
Hi to Patrick, Clare and Michele

Wow! This thread is so old I thought I would never have any more contacts, but here we are - I've struck gold!

Patrick - running on the beach is a good one - it seems to cushion and caress an injury, even tho' it's hard going. (Just got back from a sea sand and sun holiday and know just what you mean.)

I'm going to leave my family I think and find a home by the sea - just for me!!!!!Wake up; go walk/run; breakfast;Daily paper and coffee;deal with the day!


Clare - you are right. It's strange that an ankle injury can manifest itself in an area so far away?
Think about how you balance every day and which muscle groups are involved in just standing upright?
A massage by a competent person is so good and like you say, can throw up an answer to an injury. Good going to ya!
Oh and - Hope he's good-looking?!

Have you had a medical opinion on your ankle? It takes an age to 'mend'and dare I say it - if severely strained/sprained is never quite the same again.

I am at the moment soooooo overweight - and find that my 'weakened' ankle (severely sprained a few years ago)becomes uncomfortable during the day and really quite painful in the evening.

It is still very stiff and painful in the morning even now, but i think this is due to my excess weight.

However if you really badly 'knackered' your ankle you will probably find it is very sensitive first thing in a morning and needs 'breaking in gently'during the course of the day.

If it really hurts then rest it. Hospitals/doctors are not always correct in their diagnoses and seem to err on the side of 'walking wounded.'

(Personal experience)


14/09/2005 at 14:19
Hi all - just found this thread.

I seem to be having trouble with my ankle that I badly sprained 2 years ago (at time "grinned and beared it" - but think I really should have got treatment).

It's not really hurting - but it does ache just about where I went over on it.

Any hints and tips for dealing with it?? Seems like you guys have had similar troubles?

Currently wearing an ankle support when I run.
14/09/2005 at 15:33
Wow thought I was the only daft person to throw themselves on the floor while out for a run but obviously not.
Was told I sprained my ankle nearly a month ago and have just started running again. No X ray was taken and I am still unable to move my ankle properly. Can move my toes and no pain when I run but just no flexibility. Is it worth getting an x ray or would a trip to the physio sort it out?
15/09/2005 at 08:35
Hi shortie 100 and julie B 70
If i was in your position I would seek a professional opinion and in the meentime cross train. On soft level grass or beech would be good for keeping the run fitnes up, swimming will maintain a aerobic fitness for you,and you can allways use the belt in the pool to run, this can give you a good workout without the impact.
14/07/2006 at 20:59
I have just sprained my ankle, I have been to the doctors, she checked it out and said that I have torn my ligaments and I may have chipped a piece of bone from the bottom of my ankle joint. I am frustrated as I will now have to miss running for at least 3 weeks, I am going to continue with the swimming but am not sure about cycling, it's low impact but I am not sure if it will damage my ankle further. I have now resigned myself to the fact that I'm not going to be doing a few races that I have planned in the next month but I needed the advice of the doctor to convince me. I think that if anyone is unsure about the severity of their injury they should seek medical advice rather than just keep going.
17/07/2006 at 18:50
Agreed 100%, IV.
11/08/2006 at 12:40
I fell off the back doorstep on Monday! (stone cold sober AND wearing my stability trainers btw...)

Bad sprain to right ankle, but xray reveals no break. I've been on crutches for 3 or 4 days, but decided to leave them at home today and hobble to work. Foot from toes to mid calf is blue and swollen still. The joint feels a little tender, but mostly just stiff - I think it is improving quite quickly, and certainly nothing like the excrutiating pain when i first did it!

If it's not actually hurting, and is mostly just stiff from the swelling, is it OK to start walking/stretching it more? Someone gave me the tip of 'writing the alphabet' with the bad foot (I sit at a desk all day) as that should encompass the full range of movements in the ankle. Should I start doing this or leave it another couple of days?

I only started runing in the summer for the Windsor RFL, but I think the injury would have been worse if I'd been totally unfit - I want to get back to the running ASAP tho....
11/08/2006 at 13:13
Oh, I think it's best to wait until any swelling has completely disappeared before you start to do anything Gopher, as you may just aggravate the tissue damage.
11/08/2006 at 16:23
I agree when i sprained mine last year i kept trying to run with differing degrees of success- it either bothered me during the run or after. By chance i have reduced the amount of running this year due to other commitments and have done more short runs and long walks (Trailwalk) and my ankle appears completely fine, no pain and no stiffness i can even kneel down with my ankle underneath me, someting not poss a few months ago.-- about time i got back to some serious running!!!!
23/08/2006 at 13:35
Thanks Wee Stumpy and Michele - I'm taking your advice. It's been over 2 weeks now, and it's still swollen and stiff although not so sore - I am seeing a physio tomorrow.


I guess I was over-eager and dosed up on co-codamol before - this is going to take weeks/months to resolve I now think...

Oh well - I shall have to sit on the sofa and eat pies!
24/08/2006 at 09:36
I'm gobsmacked! I posted this original thread in '02 and it's been picked up again!
Just to let you know the long term effects of my original injury, now seven years ago. Day to day movement is ok, I find I don't have the range of movement in my ankle that I had before the injury and if I try to bend my ankle 'inwards' it really pulls and is uncomfortable. Strangely, I feel it 'tweaking' when my ankle is relaxed, while swimming using the leg/foot movements for breast stroke.

Having said that, it's got me round the GNR a good few times since and coped with my heavy weight! I'm still careful about 'fashion' shoes and can't go for a 'high' heel, but then at my age I probably shouldn't anyway!

So although it's not the same as it was before injury, it's not too bad either. I would urge you though, if you feel things are not right after an initial diagnosis and continue to have bad pain, get it checked out again - I wish I had, knowing what I know now.

RW Forum's a Godsend isn't it! Happy running.

16/04/2007 at 12:03
I'm so glad I found this forum and am going to attempt to get it started again.

I sprained my ankle nearly 3 weeks ago and am really missing running after having to miss out on a run this weekend, so am really wanting to get back into it. It was a bad sprain, I had it Xrayed and as it was in Switzerland I was given an aircast and crutches. i went to casualty on my return to Britain and the nurse told me aircasts are excellent but not given out here because they are so expensive. I took her advise - iced it, took anti inflamatory tablets and started to walk on it like she told me to. After a day I stopped using the crutches and after about a week I started walking without the cast.

The swelling has gone down, but ankle is still slightly swollen and a bit bruised as is the foot (right ankle right outside part of foot). I can walk on it ok but slightly painful especially after a lot of walking.

I know I can't run yet so will start swimming/riding - I was thinking of waiting until I can comfortably walk down stairs. I was just wondering how long it took other people before they actually started running again - it's obviously different depending on seriousness of injury but just to give me a rough idea I'd really appreciate it.
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