I’m a serial ankle sprainer. I swear I’ve sprained my ankle dozens of times during my life.
My sprain is only a minor one, but I’m still worried. Last time I sprained my left ankle (three years ago?), my runner’s knee really flared up. I believe there’s a relationship between my ankle sprains and knee problems.
I just hope my knee doesn’t start bothering me again. I worked so hard to get rid of my runner’s knee. 🙁
In my former life it never occurred to me to rehabilitate my ankle sprain. If I sprained my ankle really badly, I visited a doctor and my ankle got bundled up, but that was that. Often I just suffered in silence and started hobbling around with my sprained ankle as soon as possible. Only recently did I learn to treat my ankle sprains using the R.I.C.E protocol.
I have probably myself to blame for my recurring ankle sprains.
My sprains probably never healed as well as they could have, which has led to chronic ankle instability. Nowadays it doesn’t take much to sprain my ankle – on Monday afternoon I was simply walking on an uneven terrain (rocks and dirt) when my foot didn’t land where I expected it to land – and the next thing I notice I’d sprained my ankle and scraped my right knee. Yikes.
When I was resting (elevated) my ankle on Monday evening, I surfed on the Internet looking for info on how to rehabilitate a sprained ankle. I found an interesting new method that is supposed to speed up the recovery process. I’m using it now and the results are pretty promising.
Ankle Sprains, Proprioception And Balance
The irony is that a few weeks ago I added special proprioception and balance exercises to my exercise regime. I did it because I’ve been wondering about some body asymmetries: I’m able to control the right side of my body much better than the left side; plus balancing on my right foot is much easier.
Whatever the reason for my asymmetries, poor balance and ankle sprains are connected. People with poor balance have 2-3 times more ankle injuries.
The Stretching Handbook site has a good explanation of what happens when you sprain your ankle:
When ligaments are torn, as with a second or third degree ankle sprain, nerves are also damaged. These nerves send vital information to the brain about the specific position and location of the ankle joint in relation to the rest of your body.
Without this information the muscles, tendons and ligaments are constantly second-guessing the position of the ankle joint. This lack of awareness about the position of the ankle joint can lead to a re-occurrence of the same injury long after you thought it had completely healed. Balancing exercises are important to help re-train the damaged nerves around your ankle joint. [italics mine]
I hope you get the message earlier than I did! Now I got to go back to my ankle rehab exercises.
P.S. You might also be interested in the H.E.M Ankle Rehab protocol I applied to rehabilitate my ankle sprain.