I was out running at the weekend on some woodland paths, and my heel turned awkwardly on a tree root. The pain wasn’t severe, but it was enough to cause me to stop and assess whether I could carry on. I limped gingerly for a short distance, the pain eased, I carried on running. Wrong move.
Over the next day, it wasn’t really a problem – I’d feel it tweak occasionally, and had to hobble a bit coming down the stairs, but I pretty much ignored it. Wrong move again.
To top it off, I headed out for another run yesterday. I knew it was a bit risky, but thought it wasn’t significant enough to stop for. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I ran on it fine. It was fine when I came home. This morning, I couldn’t stand on it.
A twisted ankle should not be ignored. I know that; I’d say it to my patients. Don’t carry on as normal – listen to your body. Sprains left untreated and unmanaged can result in chronic problems. Weakness and instability in the ankle alters the way you walk and can result in pain affecting your knee, hip and lower back.
So, I’m now doing what I should have done in the first place; an ice-pack, a bandage, trying to keep off it as much as possible, and seeing a helpful osteopath friend. In due course, I’ll do some work to strengthen the muscles, and most especially some balance work – this helps restore proper proprioception so I’m less likely to go over on it again! The tough bit is keeping up some exercise that isn’t running. Luckily, I have a static bike at home which I think my ankle with be able to cope with soon; otherwise it’s swimming. And I hate swimming. Sigh. I’m finally learning my own lessons… I’ll let you know how I get on!