When I was a college swimmer, I was probably the clumsiest person on campus (well, that hasn’t really changed much). One recurring injury that I had was spraining my ankle while running. You see, when you aren’t very coordinated on land and combine that with a highly coordinated activity, it is a recipe for an injury.
Rolling an ankle isn’t fun, in fact, it can make daily activities very unpleasant like walking, running, and working out. However, staying active is actually one of the key components to proper healing of the ankle. If you have been sidelined by a sprained ankle, here are 5 action steps that you can take to work around the injury:
Make sure that you are cleared to workout. There are multiple ligaments, tendons, and bones in the ankle. If you twist it and you feel like the ankle isn’t feeling stable, or it is too painful to bear weight, get it evaluated by a doctor before proceeding to steps 2-5, to rule out a fracture or a tear. But if you are able to walk and it felt like a minor sprain (it would still be good to get it evaluated), you can proceed to the next steps with caution.
Keep the ankle moving. Any injury will result in inflammation which causes pain and stiffness. Movement will allow the joints to stay lubricated, reduce swelling, and accelerate healing. I prefer drawing the alphabet with the foot, using the ankle as the rotational point. One full set A through Z should suffice.
Gently put weight into your foot in standing or sitting. Make sure that the ankle is stacked in a stable position. This will actually increase the sensory input into the little joint receptors in your ankle. This can also reduce swelling and improve overall muscle function in the ankle.
Roll out your calves. These are the largest muscles going through the ankle. Any swelling can cause these muscles to tighten up. Rolling out the muscles can keep the calves nice and loose, which will increase overall blood flow that can control swelling.
You have three other limbs and a core to work out! Incorporate exercises like deadlifts, and upper body work so that you can still get a sweat without hurting yourself. Try to minimize movement (not completely eliminate) by avoiding squats, lunges, and running (for now).
Consider spraining your ankle as little speed bump. Injuries may slow you down, but they shouldn’t have to stop you from reaching your health and fitness goals.
Interested in learning more about how we can work around your injuries? Book your free no sweat intro at this link and speak with a member of our success team. We will sit down with you and figure out a plan of action that can help you.
Have a great week,
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