There I was, galavanting around the office in my chucks, jeans rolled up, thinking nothing of it. But when I sat down, crossed my legs at a meeting and my colleague said, “Oh my god, Page. What happened to your ankle?” I freaked out.
I looked down and there it was. Either I have a bout of elephantitis in my left ankle, or rolling my ankle twice during the Mt. Tam trail run actually DID do something to my bad ankle. It’s swollen again, but unlike when I first injured it, it doesn’t hurt at all. I’ll pretend that’s a good thing.
Needless to say, I’m annoyed and frustrated with CIM only a couple weeks away. Since then, I’ve also gotten sick and any ounce of energy has been zapped from me — making complete sentences on this blog post is even proving to be a struggle.
To be honest, part of me wants to throw in the towel on CIM as I don’t feel ready. I’m injured, sick, and while I did the workouts, I don’t feel like my training was analyzed and adjusted the way that it could have been to make great gains. I also know that I am a self-proclaimed sand bagger, and am doubting my own capabilities. Whoa. That’s another post altogether.
Anyways, I get a lot of emails asking about ankle sprains and my first piece of advice, especially if you’re close to a race, is to see a doctor. I’m not a medical professional and any advice I have would only be doing us both a disservice.
However, I wanted to take a moment to explain the injured athlete’s best friend: RICE. No, not the starchy white stuff, but the approach to improved injury recovery. Here’s the RICE breakdown as outlined by the Mayo Clinic:
- Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. But don’t avoid all physical activity. Instead, give yourself relative rest. With an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to prevent deconditioning. For example, you could use an exercise bicycle, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on a footrest. That way you still exercise three limbs and keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.
- Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. Use an ice pack or slush bath for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake, for the first 48 to 72 hours. Cold reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in injured muscles, joints and connective tissues. It also may slow bleeding if a tear has occurred. If the area turns white, stop treatment immediately. This could indicate a cold injury. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.
- Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too tightly or you may hinder circulation. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart. Loosen the wrap if the pain increases, if the area becomes numb or if swelling occurs below the wrapped area.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.
A few other helpful resources:
- A less than glamorous, yet still helpful, video tutorial on how to wrap an ankle sprain.
- This is the Zensah Ankle Support that I wear.
- Oh, and this moviewill cure your ankle injury, pity-party blues.
Looks like some more RICE and DayQuil is in my future.
What do you do when sick or injured to keep from going crazy?