Ouch, I Sprained My Ankle – Again!

minor ankle sprain with some swelling and bruisingI was busy taking a walk on Monday afternoon when I tripped and fell on my right knee. I got up and realized that yes, I had sprained my left ankle again.

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.

Best Wishes,

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Comments

  1. Ouch! Hope it heals quickly.

    I often have pains in my knees and lately it’s been my back (but I think it’s the bed, we need a new one). I’m sure as I lose more weight all the aches and pains will lessen.

  2. Hi Satu! I feel so bad for you! My tricky knee used to act up and give me months of problems in a row. It’s very disappointing.

    1) Is this hereditary? Does your sister have these problems too?

    2) Have you considered making a rehab program for your ankles and knees?

    I weigh quite a bit and I used to think that my sore knee was all about my weight, and that the soreness would go away if I lost weight. Well, I still weigh quite a bit, and I did get rid of the knee problems.

    What I did was joint-friendly strengthening exercises. The yoga balancing exercises, such as tree, are some of the best exercises for gently strengthening ankles and knees. If you strengthen all of the little muscles around the ankles and knees, it might help your problem a lot.

    Of course, at this point, just rest that ankle as much as you can. Okay, sweetie?

    🙂 Marion

    • I mean, did you ever think to make a *new* rehab plan that might have *new* exercises? My rehab plan was different from the stuff I had previously done that had not worked.

      🙂 Marion

      • Satu says:

        Hi Marion!

        My ankle is a lot better already. My knee usually doesn’t bother me anymore, but I was a bit worried about how my ankle might effect my knee.

        I’m planning on adding ankle and strenghthening exercises to my fitness regime.

        • Marion says:

          Very glad to hear your ankle is improving, Satu. Sometimes, these more minor ankle or knee things help us plan so that we avoid the major stuff. The balancing exercises are fun anyways.

          🙂 Marion

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