For some, running is a way to get fit or stay in shape while for others, running is a fitness addiction that has no equivalent. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, a sprained ankle can quickly dissuade you from lacing up your favorite running shoes.
To help you deal with this all too common running injury, we’ve prepared a quick guide to fast-track your recovery. Naturally, we’ll also be including resources for podiatrists, general physicians, running products, personal trainers, and other related services.
Fast-tracking Your Recovery
Cease any current physical activity
If the pain from spraining your ankle isn’t enough of a hint, experts strongly advise against completing a workout or jogging session even after suffering an injury. While pushing through pain can certainly help you reach new levels of fitness injuries are a different story altogether.
Continuing physical activity can cause even more pain and in severe cases, you’re likely to do even more harm to yourself. So, the first step in a hasty recovery is protecting yourself from any further injuries.
Rest is integral to the first week of your recovery as staying off your ankle and sleeping will greatly help with pain and healing in general. Ideally, you should avoid putting any weight on your sprain whatsoever.
But, since this isn’t always possible it’s important to consider purchasing crutches or walking aids. These medical tools can help you retain some level of mobility while still allowing you to reduce pressure on your injury.
Initially, your ankle will swell due to the increased volume of fluid and blood cells rushing to the affected area. To counteract this swelling and retain some mobility, experts recommend icing the area for 10 to 15 minutes.
It’s important to limit ice exposure to less than 20 minutes as any prolonged exposure to ice can result in freezer burn and soft tissue damage. Generally, you should ice your ankle about three to five times a day for the first week or until your ankle is no longer visibly swollen.
To further reduce blood flow and control swelling, it would be wise to consider wrapping your ankle with a compression bandage. Alternatively, you may also consult your podiatrist for a specialized compression sleeve.
Regardless of which method you choose, compression doesn’t necessarily help with recovery in the way most people believe. Instead of immobilizing your ankle, compression actually stops swelling and reduces pain thereby making you more comfortable during your recovery.
Though you may not be on your feet right away, these practices should certainly help speed up the healing process. We sincerely hope that the resources we’ve provided can also be of some help as you work through your injury.