I am the type of person that when I have a minor injury, I at first have this attitude that I should just "man up" and run through the pain. I am not 20 years old so I am just now starting to stop being such a jackass and do what the very first thing they recommend when you get a sprain no matter your fitness level: Rest.
The thing that I don't understand is why is this happening to me? because I am not a beginner, I stretch after every session, and i don't recall any sort of tweaking my leg such as hitting an unexpected uneven surface. Yet every now and again I simply wake up and one of my ankles is swollen and now I have to walk like a zombie.
In the past, like I mentioned before I would simply run through it and go anyway, like I am some sort of super-hero. Actually, that is what I have been doing all week and even though the pain does subside a few km into my run... lo and behold later on I'm in greater pain than I was before! Imagine that!
I don't have all the answers to stuff and I know that I do thing incorrectly on a regular basis. This kind of comes with the normie territory in that I don't really know what the hell I am doing I just know what has worked for me in the past.
Remarkably, I actually was able to "run through the injury" in the past and this worked for me. However, I don't know how much long term damage I may have done and kind of just lived by the mantra that since our bodies are very adaptable machines, that my tendons that are part of the sprain in the first place would simply adapt and become stronger. I have no idea if there is anything medically sound about that notion, i never bothered to check, but I do know that it worked for me in the past.
However, as they say, I am no spring chicken anymore as I am around 40 years of age and I probably have rogue injuries like this to look forward to in the future.
So now that I realize I am not unbreakable I think I will go ahead and use the "RICE" method of healing.
No not that, but if you are a visual learner like I am perhaps this will help you. For most people this probably seems intuitive and you knew it already... for me, I am a stubborn bastard and will only revert to staying at rest once it becomes absolutely necessary.
- R = Rest and this is the thing I hate to do the most. It seems so simple that hey man! Your body is telling you to chill out since you are having trouble walking and your ankle feels tight. Maybe ease up a bit on the running for a bit ok?
- I=Ice and this is a tricky one because for me, ice is too cold. I recommend you get one of these ice packs from 3M instead because they are a more reasonable temperature than a bag of ice is. You can also use some sort of wrap to hold it in place while you chill out and eat nachos or whatever
- C=Compress and i'm not going to pretend why this works but you are meant to have some sort of compression sock or bandage around your ankle. I don't know why it works or why it is recommended but most sports scientists agree that this important and they went to school for a long time so let's just go ahead and take their word for it.
- E=Elevate ... so you keep your leg elevated as much as possible above where your heart is. Again, I don't know why this is important but the doctors say so and I'll listen to them.
For someone like me that has another acronym in their life that is R.E.D. (Run Every Day) this is horrible news that I have to sit a few plays out but honestly, I am now kind of accepting the fact that this is going to become increasingly necessary for me as I get older. I may have to find some other sort of exercise and mix things up a bit to ease up on the amount of strain that I am putting on my ankles. I already own a bicycle so that is the logical next step.
So I hate getting older, but I am going to have to admit that I cant simply Rambo my way through everything anymore.
I don't know everything about fitness... hell, I wouldn't even say I know very much... but I did lose 50 lbs and kept it off over the course of 3 years now. If it worked for me it can for you as well!