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Tips Manage Twisted Ankle

  1. Let yourself fall as soon as you feel your ankle starting to turn.
    By allowing yourself to fall over, you’ll minimize the angle that your ankle is being forced into and will avoid injuring it. If you can manage it, land on your shoulder; a sore shoulder is much easier to deal with than a sore ankle. This is an especially valuable tip when you are running on trails that are covered in dirt or snow or something else that is soft; you may want to try to keep your feet if you are running over a rock pile or near a cliff. If you are running on the roads, then try to avoid falling in front of a car. The most common thing to trip over on the roads is going to be the curb, which can be problematic given its extreme height relative to where you are running and the fact that it is what is separating you from the travel lanes.

  2. Don’t stop to nurse a twisted ankle.
    If you break your ankle, you aren’t going to be able to run on it, so this obviously doesn’t apply when you are seriously hurt. When you just tweak it a little, though, continue running as soon as you can, especially if you don’t allow yourself to fall over first. If you stop, then it gives your ankle an opportunity to immediately swell which will make it more difficult to complete your run. You might have a few steps where you lurch like Quasimodo, but if you keep going then your ankle will start to feel better a lot sooner.

When you finish your run, try to ice the sprained ankle. I recommend an ice massage for about 5 minutes. Avoid taking ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories, because icing will reduce the swelling enough to get some fresh blood into the damaged muscle tissue and start the repair process and you don’t want to completely eliminate the swelling. Doing so can mean that you’ll actually take longer to recover, since the swelling is there to immobilize your ankle enough that you won’t further damage it and to help speed up the recovery process. You especially don’t want to mask the pain before your next run, as then you won’t know when you need to back off a little.