Author Topic: Recurring Ankle Injury  (Read 2878 times)

Offline .Nico

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Recurring Ankle Injury
« on: March 26, 2007, 04:43:38 PM »
Here's the story. I had been a soccer player all my life until last year when I switched my focus to parkour. During my years playing soccer, I never learned the importance of stretching, warming up and warming down, and staying within my limits. I treated my body recklessly and got injured quite frequently as a result. Over the last year I have been researching and reading about ways I can train more safely, because my body is now something I care a great deal about, and I want to be able to train for as many years as I can. I am not about having fun now and suffering later. I want to do everything I can now to prepare my body for the rest of my life, even if it means making certain sacrifices now. So, during the last year I have worked to gain strength and flexibility for all areas of my body - I stretch for 20min each morning, as well as a part of a thorough warm-up and cool-down for each day of training. I have overcome many of the old problems with my knees that remained from playing soccer, started eating healthy food, adopting good posture, etc. I have completely transformed my life, and this is only the beginning of my journey. However, there is one thing in particular which I am bothered by: my ankles.

Last year I sprained both my ankles playing soccer, and both of the sprains were "2nd degree," and both times my foot rolled inwards. I went to a physio therapist who worked with me, and he said that the two most important things in ankle rehabilitation are building strength, and regaining propioception (balance). I did some exercises for a month or two, and when the pain subsided I started playing/training again. The trouble was, my ankles were still swollen. And one year later, they are STILL swollen. During this year I moved to a more rural area and don't really have access to a physio therapist. So I have pretty much been doing everything on my own. But every couple of weeks/months I re-sprain one of my ankles, either while training, running, going down stairs, whatever. I always treat the ankles really well, using RICE until there is no more pain. For a while I did the exercises the old physio therapist gave me, but I didn't feel like they were achieving much. I decided that if the goal was to improve strength and proprioception, the best way to do it would be to ease back into the training I was already doing for parkour (strength regimen as well as technical work).

So guys, what am I doing wrong? Every so often the pattern repeats itself - I get back on my feet, start training, get injured, go into rehab, start training again, get injured again, etc. The injuries to my ankles are never bad, apart from the very first time it has always been "1st degree." I sprained my right ankle again today, and I decided that I have had enough. My ankles are the weakest link in my body, and they are seriously hindering me from progressing. I have decided that I will now do whatever it takes to make my ankles the STRONGEST link in my body. How can I go about doing this? Should I stop training altogether for a while? Is there a way to strengthen my ankles without using "therabands," or is this the best way? Should I still go running, or is that too much impact? What about technical parkour/movement training? I will do whatever it takes, because no matter how much time I put into this now, I know that it will be worth it in the long run.

By the way, I am asking this on forums because for various reasons it would be hard for me to see a physio therapist right now. What advice do you guys have?

Gearsighted

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 04:57:32 PM »
What does your rehab look like? How much total time are you taking off? Are you icing/ elevating after injury and exercise? Do you own a balance board? Do you take fish oil regularly to control inflammation?

Offline Steve Low

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 11:05:05 PM »
Rehab should continue after it stops hurting... and strength training should immediately follow. A lot of people say titanium ankles is good.. and it's OK, but it doesn't have many good STRENGTH exercises as most of them are high reps. After you can do all the stuff in the vid (which should be after your rehab and startining conditioning for your ankles), start strengthening them by adding weight or going onto harder exercises.

Titanium ankles:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9152558057656440250

Which reminds me to go do my ankle rehab and strength training, heh. :)
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Offline .Nico

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 12:22:17 PM »
After the initial injury, I took a month or two off and then went immediately back into playing/training (very bad, I know). After the smaller sprains since I have been only taking a week/several weeks because I have been impatient to get training again. But right now I have decided to rest as long as it takes to get better. Thanks for the titanium ankles video, it helps a lot.

By the way gear, yes I do ice/compression/elevation after exercise, and I also take cod liver oil twice a day.

I will post later with results from my rehab. Thanks!

Offline Zeus

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 03:55:01 PM »
The worst part about sprains is secondary sprains (one on top of another) can lead to your ankle being permanently sprained. I reccomend taking a loooong time if not permanently doing recovery exercises not only to regenerat but grow

Offline .Nico

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 12:20:36 PM »
Update: I just went to see a doctor, and he said some really good news. Apparently the sprains from a year ago are fully healed, and the "swelling" I was talking about is just my bulging ankle muscles. The reason I keep on spraining my ankles is that one side of my foot is stronger than the other, and my foot rolls slightly inwards when it is dangling. So what I need to do now: strengthen the other side of my ankle, and rehabilitate the most recent sprain to my right ankle. Other than that I am good to go. But I will be more careful and mindful in the future.

Offline Mathew C

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Re: Recurring Ankle Injury
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2007, 02:22:34 PM »
I recommend these to everyone. I won't go in to detail, but the point is, I did them, and I had ankles that hurt every single day (because I didn't condition), then I did calve presses for three months (over winter), and my ankles haven't hurt since Christmas and i added 6 inches to my vertical. Here's the link
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gastrocnemius/LVStandingCalfRaise.html

Try to be able to do it with your own weight added, 20-25 reps
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 02:24:14 PM by T rex »