How to Start Running on a Sprained Ankle As a runner, you put your body through so much stress daily. Those well-crafted muscles built up over time can be torn down instantly if you’re not careful.
And because many of us take our bodies for granted, we are often slow to realize this until it is too late and we are injured. That’s why stopping completely and starting back up at a snail’s pace is never a good idea.
This article will cover how to start running after an ankle sprain. We will discuss roughly how long you should wait before running again and how to best return to running after an ankle sprain.
What Is An Ankle Sprain?
It’s easy to sprain your ankle, but it usually won’t happen when you fall. The most common cause of a sprain is an outward twisting of the foot. This can stretch the ligaments in your foot or ankle and increase the pressure on one side of the joint. A deep twist or roll causes bruising and swelling around the front of the joint, which causes fluid to build up inside.
These ligaments help keep the ankle in place so that it doesn’t move unnecessarily. If these ligaments are forced to go beyond their usual range of motion, they can become loose, tense, and sprain. Usually, sprained ankles occur on the outer side of the ankle.
There are approximately five ligaments in the ankle, including three smaller ones on the outside and a larger one inside. Only a tiny percentage of all sprains involve a tear in the large ligament. This type of sprain is more severe than any outer ligaments because it can be challenging to recover from and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Typically, one doesn’t need to see a doctor for a minor illness unless it gets worse or if you’re not sure whether you should go or not. If you decide to get help from a medical professional, make sure that you follow their instructions and take all the medicine they give you.
- Is it excruciatingly painful?
- Am I unable to walk?
- Is there still swelling after 48 hours?
If you’re asking yourself if an expert might be able to give you some good advice – the answer is yes. It would help if you aimed to have a conversation with your trusted friends and family or with a professional in this field who could make suggestions that will sound like the right decision for you.
Common Causes Of Ankle Sprains
Sprained ankles can occur when your ankle goes in a direction that it’s not supposed to, causing it to be forced outside of its natural range of motion.
This could happen while playing soccer if someone happens to fall on top of you or tackle you down. While these kinds of accidents can sometimes cause sprained ankles in a runner, walking straight into the road is more likely to do so.
Instead, runners are more likely to get sprained ankles when they have excessive movement in their arches or have low angles. If the foot rolls inward too much, it can cause sprains, but if the foot seems flat or flattens too much, this may also lead to information and is a major contributing factor to the injury.
There are many reasons why an athlete can sprain an ankle, one of which might be that their body is less suited to running due to an imbalance of physical features such as height and weight. True, some people are just not built for any particular sport, even though it might seem that they would excel at it while fixing other things to be more functional.
Running on uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, trails with exposed roots and rocks, or broken sidewalks is more likely to result in injuries than a regular track where even running is possible.
You’re more likely to get an ankle sprain even if you have had an ankle injury before or aren’t wearing shoes that fit because x.
How Long Should I Wait Before Running Again?
It all depends on your situation. Suppose you have a mild or moderate sprain or are wearing support or orthopedic brace. In that case, it’s recommended that one avoids painful activities like running for a few weeks to allow ligament(s) to heal completely.
During the healing period, always adhere to physical therapy exercises and advice from medical professionals because these are your best bet for a full recovery and prevent future injuries from happening.
You’ll want to ensure that you’re pain-free, don’t have any limits in the motion of the ankle, and have equal strength in both your injured ankle and your good one. Try going for a light jog if your doctor allows it. If anything feels funny, stop immediately and wait several days before attempting again.
Because you don’t want to worsen the injury, you should speak with a doctor who can tell you how long you need in recovery before going jogging again.
If you start too soon, the ligament will scar. This will make it much more likely for future tears or sprains in the same area of your body.
When recovering from the sprain, most doctors recommend the standard of giving it 3 weeks before returning to running. During this time, you should focus on other exercises that can help your recovery, such as yoga or Pilate’s classes.
How To Return To Running After An Ankle Sprain
You should be fully healed from ankle pain before trying to run again. Here are some specific things you should keep in mind while trying to convince your ankle that it needs to be okay enough to start this jogging trend once again (this time through).
Make Sure You Are Pain And Swelling Free
If it still hurts to walk, you should not start running. Make sure you’re entirely pain-free and that your ankles, feet, and legs feel precisely the same on the injured and uninjured legs.
Additionally, you should avoid using your knee altogether until the swelling stops going down, or at least looks like it is. You can lessen the swelling by using the RICE method: rest, ice, compress, and elevate.
Focus On Range Of Motion And Strengthening Exercises
Strength, strength, and more strength. Ankle injuries can be prevented for many runners if you build up your muscles in advance. Here are three exercises you can do to substantially reduce the chances of getting a sprain upon return from injury.
While you are restoring your strength, don’t forget that specific exercises you can do for cardio like swimming, deep-water running, or kayaking.
Range Of Motion Exercises
One of my favorite workouts at home is doing the toe touch. You can try this seated or stand up. Allow yourself to build up endurance to do it a few times in a row, but make sure you switch things up every time.
Maybe one time, go backward, and another time starts with your feet together before reaching them outwards in alternating motions repeatedly – you could even mix it up by bringing your arms into play at certain moments.
Another option is to sit in a chair with your leg straight while keeping your foot on the floor. Playfully move your knee from side to side while letting your toes rest firmly against the ground. Do this for several minutes.
Finally, consider some exercises that will help in your elbow recovery. While standing up or sitting down, for example, slowly turn both feet and the injured one outward and then inward. Repeat this 10 times.
One expert recommends standing on your toes and then gradually working up to standing on your heels for several minutes at a time to help stabilize your ankle. Another option is to do something you likely did as a kid: stand on one leg and stay balanced for at least 30 seconds.
Once you’ve mastered the previous exercise, make things harder by closing your eyes to direct all of your focus into your sense of balance. Do a squat with your uninjured leg and lift your entire leg on an extended knee and continue to do this throughout as long as you can.
Do 5-10 reps of these exercises, and soon enough, you’ll be able to provide yourself with fluid movement while creating no pounding or jarring against the cut site, which is likely to increase healing time.
You may even want to do something fun like standing on a pillow or another uneven surface with your eyes closed for 30 seconds, and remember to focus just as hard on that foot as you did on the other one.
When you’ve finally healed and you’re ready to run again, it might be best to start with a slow jog or walk around the block before picking up your pace. You may need to take another day off if anything hurts too much, but it beats having to wait an additional few weeks in recovery.
If you’re a trail runner and you already have an injury, we recommend that you avoid technical trials to recover fully. You don’t want to re-injure your ankle again by overdoing it and having to begin back at square one.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even find yourself on a more straightforward path once you feel good enough to start running again.
It will be easier for you to get back into running with flat, less hilly surfaces. While it may be tempting to run hills as we begin getting back in shape, the switch from stationary bikes to running may leave you already a little bit worn out, so being able to regain control and all of your endurance by easing yourself into this new routine is ideal.
Injuries are never amusing. They can even hinder the production of your content which is why you should make sure to have a backup plan in case any of your team members get injured while they’re on the job.
The best thing to do after an injury is to say it with science and recuperate properly, and make sure to keep yourself busy so that you don’t miss out on too much while you heal. By thinking ahead and planning new content, keeping yourself occupied, and taking time off now and then to readjust, you will soon be ready for production once again.