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Sprained ankle... how long to recover?

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  • Sprained ankle... how long to recover?

    I sprained my ankle (not a mild sprain but not a really bad one either) while rock climbing on Sunday, and I've looked up information about it on WebMD and a couple other places, but they are saying it takes like 4-6 weeks to fully recover. That seems like a long time... anyone have any reliable input on this? How long until I can hike/run again?
    I got an ace bandage which I'm wearing on it when I have to walk around and trying to prop it up on a chair or something whenever possible.
    Also, what kind of exercises should I be doing to help it heal?
    Subduction leads to orogeny

    My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I have done it all too my ankles. A "sprain" is anything from a stretch of the ligament to a tear. My last one was a complete tear of my lateral ligament. I waited 3 month before seeing a doctor, & than was asked where my ligament went, it had completely dissapeared over time of not getting it taken care of. If I went right away, it might have been able to be saved. If you are in serious pain to the point of not being able to bare weight, than get an MRI ASAP. Physical therapy saved my ass. If its just a mild sprain, than ice & elevate as often as you can take, & do ankle raise on a step. You need to strengthen the muscles around the ankle to avoid it again. I feel once you do it, you are suceptable to it again.
    "Don't dream it, be it"

    -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

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    • #3
      Well the pain isn't that serious; it just kinda hurts to walk. I can stand on that foot without pain but walking hurts because of the actual movement of the foot. This is the first time I've sprained this ankle AFAIK.
      Subduction leads to orogeny

      My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Ice & elevate. When the swelling goes down start yout rehab. I am sure you can find a list of exercises on line to strengthen the entire area.
        "Don't dream it, be it"

        -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

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        • #5
          If it's not a high ankle sprain I'd say 2-3 weeks for normal use (possibly still with some discomfort, possibly not). I had one sprain that stretched the ligament enough to still bother me after a couple years, not pain wise, just being loose in general. I would suggest getting some tubing and doing ankle movements to re-strengthen the muscles/tendons when you can tolerate it.

          High ankle sprains usually take a minimum of a month, I've only done a high ankle once and it took 2 months before normal no pain use.
          I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

          Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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          • #6
            I rolled mine a few years ago, but didn't go get it looked at. It took 6 months before i could run or swim with fins again, and I had to re-learn how to run. If I would have gotten it looked at, then i would have been back to normal in a shorter time frame. I can give you some things that have helped for me, but you should really get it looked at and rehab from a sports therapist. They deal with joint injuries frequently.

            The benefit of the injury was when i could finally get back into shape, I discovered Crossfit, which led me to all the health and fitness information and lifestyle that COMPLETELY changed my life. I would never have found this site had I not injured myself. Irony.
            Every Day is a New Adventure

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            • #7
              Amy - expect 6 weeks total just about to the day.
              4 weeks with tenderness and some pain; last 2 weeks will be more stiffness than pain.
              Then one day, 6 weeks out or so, it will suddenly occur to you that "hey, my ankle doesn't bother me any more."
              Trick is to avoid re-injuring it about 4 weeks in when the pain is no longer the big deal.
              Never eat anything bigger than your own head.

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              • #8
                To go off of Joe here, once your ankle feels like you can start exercising (about 4 weeks), take it slow. Last time I sprained my ankle, 6 years ago, I tried to rush back and paid the price. I ended up having to tape my ankle from mid basketball season (January-ish) through baseball season (May), for every game and practice. Finally, I realized one day that I was good to go and didn't need any tape. Although, I still have to crack it once in a while to get rid of temporary stiffness...but that's probably b/c I only sat out for a week of basketball and came back wayyy too soon. Moral of the story, take it slow even when you think you're ankle is ready.

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                • #9
                  A doctor generally won't do a damn thing for an ankle.
                  There's nothing TO do. Want Phys.Therapy? Google it, and do it at home.
                  Bottom line, there's nothing to do but wait.
                  You'll know when you're ready, and resume slowly.

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                  • #10
                    My right ankle is stuffed, badly sprained at 8 y.o. Massive ligament tear/sprain and chipped bone at 18 playing basketball - 5 weeks in cast - was about a 3-4 months before I could run. Now the ankle is so sloppy I go over on it all the time and it doesn't even swell, I am pretty good at keeping my balance now and not falling when it goes.
                    My advice? go to a specialist - a sports doc, sports therapist and get them to check it out. Avoid regular GP's.
                    Most importantly - Give it time, don't be in hurry to run on it. Swimming and cycling are your friends for recovery. Running too soon is a recipe for disaster.
                    Fear of the unknown...They are afraid of new ideas. they are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based onÖ if something is new, I reject it immediately because itís frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.

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                    • #11
                      I am in school for Athletic Training and the advice given on this post is great. Ice it every night after daily use, if swollen elevate it. The ace bandage that you are using should definitely help out with the swelling. As soon as you can tolerate the pain do what others said and begin exercise to tighten/strengthen up the ligaments that you stretched or you will pay for it dearly later on. Don't be afraid to put it through some pain, also try to massage the painfull area to break up the "muscle guarding" that is most likely taking place. Good Luck!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stevoreo View Post
                        also try to massage the painfull area to break up the "muscle guarding" that is most likely taking place. Good Luck!
                        THIS!!!

                        With my high ankle sprain last summer the sprain itself was gone after about 6 weeks, but it still bothered me. It wasn't until I went to a massage therapist (actually a doctor but does mostly body work) and got active relief done on the muscles and tendons in my ankle and foot did my pain truly go away.
                        I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

                        Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by federkeil View Post
                          THIS!!!

                          With my high ankle sprain last summer the sprain itself was gone after about 6 weeks, but it still bothered me. It wasn't until I went to a massage therapist (actually a doctor but does mostly body work) and got active relief done on the muscles and tendons in my ankle and foot did my pain truly go away.
                          + 1

                          As soon as you can stand to touch it gentle message is a good idea, then as it heals increase the intensity.
                          Strive for healthy today.

                          Satisfaction is the death of desire.

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