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Sprained Ankle Recovery-Time?

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While climbing I sprained my ankle. Just to make sure I got it x-ray'ed and made sure it isn't broken/chipped.

This was 2-3 weeks ago. Since then the major pain has subsided, yet I still feel pain when twisting my ankle and occasionally when using stairs.
Having tried twice, unsuccessfully to resume climbing exercises I am now completely resting my foot from any type of sport related strain.

How long will it take until I am able to (slowly) start climbing again?
What are the indicators?
Anything else I can do to speed things up?
>>
For the time being, I am only cooling when not walking.
Any advice?
>>
>>18441150
I must've sprained my ankles some 10 or 12 times throughout my life to varying degrees of severity. Sounds like yours was pretty severe if you still have symptoms like that after nearly 3 weeks. It really should be healed by now.

I can only tell you what helped for me, but I started doing that asap after a sprain. Keep the foot high when possible to help the fluids drain out and swelling go down. A splint can work wonders, it'll put on some compression and keep you from twisting your foot in ways that'll hurt. Also, DO NOT KEEP IT COMPLETELY STILL. You need to keep doing light exercises with it, walking is good, and when you're sitting or lying, keep moving the foot. Just pull your toes up towards your knee and then move the foot so they point away again. That won't put stress on the ligaments, but will keep your muscles in working condition and ankle from becoming stiff.
Once, when the swelling just wouldn't go down at all even after a week, I got manual lymphatic drainage which removed the swelling in pretty short order.

I don't know about climbing, but generally you'll be able to do sport again at such a time as it doesn't hurt and you can make good use of your strength in the foot.
>>
>>18442111
Thanks for sharing your experiences.

This is my first time. And I did not put up my foot when the sprain initially happened. My mistake.

I am mainly notice it swelling up when I tax it too much (ie walked to much on any given day).
As I said, all I currently do is cool it whenever possible. For the first couple of days I wore a supporting bandage which I later removed.

Tbh. I am a bit surprised you mention that my case may be more severe than I thought.
Now I am wondering whether I should go and see the doctor again.
>>
>>18442188
Well, it's been some years since then, but I think the longest it ever took before I was declared completely healed was about 6 or 8 weeks, and even then I had hardly any lingering symptoms for 1 or 2 weeks before. The pain had pretty much always gone away within 2 weeks, and sometimes a bit quicker even, after that I'd just notice that the foot still felt week, and that trying to move it sideways would feel a bit weird.


If you haven't used a splint yet, I'd try that. There're plastic ones that are basically just a strip of cloth under your heel, and you flip up one half on each side of your lower leg, then fasten them to each other with velcro.
Or just get that supporting bandage again.
That'll already do a lot for stabilising the foot and might by itself be enough to keep you from taxing it too much.

You said that you'd tried to go climbing twice already, so that might be part of why it's taking longer. It probably wasn't fully healed yet, so you tore up something again, and that's why it's taking so long. So it might not be THAT severe after all, it just hadn't had time to heal.

Basically, if there's any swelling you should keep some pressure on it, either a bandage or splint, also cool it if that's the case.
Keep walking and doing light exercises, but use a splint or bandage for stabilising the foot until walking no longer causes pain.
When you're pain-free start gently moving the foot in various directions and see how it feels. I'd only go climbing again once the pain is gone and the foot feels strong again.
At least when I've sprained my ankles I've been able to tell when they were still weak, although I was able to move them in all directions. Pay attention to what your body tells you.

Give it another 2 weeks or so during which you take care of your foot since you may have hurt it again during your earlier climbing attempts. If the pain hasn't gone away after that, or gets worse, I'd go see a doctor again.
>>
>>18442280
I see you are a top-tier anon. Thanks.

So far I have somewhat avoided keeping the bandage on for too long due to the sweaty weather and difficulty of cooling.
I might try a slightly less rigid but more permeable form of bandage.

Exercise should not be a great issue as my daily mode of transport is walking and cycling.

My main 'worry' is that I feel the recovery has somewhat plateaued. Some swelling at specific parts of the ankle are still present.

Was there anything you did which could improve the rate of recovery?
What about pain/anti-inflammatoires medication?
>>
>>18442311
I only ever took medication for the pain during the very first few days when it could be intense, I wouldn't take anything for the pain in your situation. Anti-inflammation meds shouldn't be needed, unless it gets inflamed ofc, but I think chances of that are pretty low and if it happens you'll notice.

Panthenol might help, but that's mostly good for wounds where you can put it on directly. I think there's not much one can do to make it heal faster other than trying to keep the swelling down with mild pressure and some gravity, and helping the lymphs to remove any fluids by moving the foot.
If only one part is a bit swollen but most has gone away, it's not much to worry about, that happened to me a few times as well, just give it time.
Cycling is great since you don't have to move your foot sideways and put relatively little pressure on it, but still exercise it and move it in parallell with your leg.
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