Suffered Injury- Putting Weight back On

On 10-5, I tumbled and fell on concrete on my front steps, spraining my left ankle and arm. I have been relatively immobilized since. My MD sort of blew it off, told me to ice and elevate the leg, take pain meds and wait. Not happy with that I began seeing a Chiropractor who has been helping a lot, doing ultrasound and electro therapy to both areas. I now am able to walk on even ground with little to no pain, stairs are still hurtful, afraid to try to drive because i get painful spasms in my left arm when I use it to hold the steering wheel. I'm in my early 70's.

My biggest problem is that all the weight I lost is now coming back. I try to limit my food consumption but not being able to exercise is just killing me. My therapist suggested I try a stationery bike, I can't do it. It hurts my ankle a lot. So, here I sit- day after day.

I'm not seeking sympathy. Jut ideas or suggestions from anyone who has been in this situation. I know it won't be permanent, although I am worried that my arm will be partly dysfunctional for good. I don't do water exercises, not a swimmer. Walking would be wonderful. I can get halfway up my block then have to come back, the ankle doesn't hurt but feels weak and squishy, probably just need to wait, but any advice is appreciated.

Replies

  • JessicaMcB
    JessicaMcB Posts: 1,503 Member
    It sounds like a situation where its better to wait and let it heal rather than push it and potentially be sidelined more seriously and for longer. Re: putting weight back on, have you reined your calories back in to account for the change in activity levels?
  • bogwoppt1
    bogwoppt1 Posts: 159 Member
    I had a year off running due to an undiagnosed foot fracture. Simply speaking I had to eat less until it got worked out.

    Honestly you have to eat less than you burn to lose, to maintain you have to eat what your body needs. If you are gaining you are eating too much.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,058 Member
    edited October 2017
    I am a lot younger but faced a similar situation when I damaged my back falling on some ice (damaged some ligaments in my back and my pelvis and knee muscles twisted out when left untreated) I started with some walking and a 10 minute low impact cardio video (aimed at seniors and those recovering from injuries).

    Perhaps see if the chiropractor can refer you to a physio who might be able to provide you with a program to strengthen your ankle or try an ankle support whilst walking and you may be able to start building to slightly longer walks?
  • allaboutthecake
    allaboutthecake Posts: 1,503 Member
    I would get a 2nd opinion if you can afford it. You may have damaged the tibial nerve in your ankle. And pinched a nerve in your shoulder or neck causing the spasms. At 3 weeks out, it seems you should be doing a bit better. As we age, it does take longer to recover. Have you considered glucosamine? This would help the joint. You may also need to look at your walking shoes. If they are past 6mo in age (the shoes), then perhaps it wouldn't hurt to replace those. I also like to keep off the sidewalk when I walk as cement is a harder surface and impacts too much on my body. Have you tried walking on a different surface, such as a school track, dirt path, or even a quiet street. As for the arm, that's a red flag to me. Work on your posture and have your PT show you passive arm exercises to do at home. And do them.
    For the diet, it is hard. I can't eat much at all when I'm not exercising. I like to drink chicken broth that is homemade with spices (and no salt) that is warm on cold days and filling to the stomach. Sit outside on the deck to enjoy the fresh air gets me away from t.v. habit and also snacking out of boredom. If I have to do a fair amount of sitting, I'll go see a movie. But then, I'm not into the greasy popcorn so if that part is a temptation to you, I'd stay away.
    hope this helps...and you feel better soon!
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,058 Member
    I would get a 2nd opinion if you can afford it. You may have damaged the tibial nerve in your ankle. And pinched a nerve in your shoulder or neck causing the spasms. At 3 weeks out, it seems you should be doing a bit better. As we age, it does take longer to recover. Have you considered glucosamine? This would help the joint. You may also need to look at your walking shoes. If they are past 6mo in age (the shoes), then perhaps it wouldn't hurt to replace those. I also like to keep off the sidewalk when I walk as cement is a harder surface and impacts too much on my body. Have you tried walking on a different surface, such as a school track, dirt path, or even a quiet street. As for the arm, that's a red flag to me. Work on your posture and have your PT show you passive arm exercises to do at home. And do them.
    For the diet, it is hard. I can't eat much at all when I'm not exercising. I like to drink chicken broth that is homemade with spices (and no salt) that is warm on cold days and filling to the stomach. Sit outside on the deck to enjoy the fresh air gets me away from t.v. habit and also snacking out of boredom. If I have to do a fair amount of sitting, I'll go see a movie. But then, I'm not into the greasy popcorn so if that part is a temptation to you, I'd stay away.
    hope this helps...and you feel better soon!

    My understanding from various articles is that Glucosamine can only really be beneficial when taken as a preventative measure, and is not great for treating already deteriorated joints.

  • allaboutthecake
    allaboutthecake Posts: 1,503 Member
    I would get a 2nd opinion if you can afford it. You may have damaged the tibial nerve in your ankle. And pinched a nerve in your shoulder or neck causing the spasms. At 3 weeks out, it seems you should be doing a bit better. As we age, it does take longer to recover. Have you considered glucosamine? This would help the joint. You may also need to look at your walking shoes. If they are past 6mo in age (the shoes), then perhaps it wouldn't hurt to replace those. I also like to keep off the sidewalk when I walk as cement is a harder surface and impacts too much on my body. Have you tried walking on a different surface, such as a school track, dirt path, or even a quiet street. As for the arm, that's a red flag to me. Work on your posture and have your PT show you passive arm exercises to do at home. And do them.
    For the diet, it is hard. I can't eat much at all when I'm not exercising. I like to drink chicken broth that is homemade with spices (and no salt) that is warm on cold days and filling to the stomach. Sit outside on the deck to enjoy the fresh air gets me away from t.v. habit and also snacking out of boredom. If I have to do a fair amount of sitting, I'll go see a movie. But then, I'm not into the greasy popcorn so if that part is a temptation to you, I'd stay away.
    hope this helps...and you feel better soon!

    My understanding from various articles is that Glucosamine can only really be beneficial when taken as a preventative measure, and is not great for treating already deteriorated joints.

    I don't know enough about glucosamine other than what Google says. However, I knew an older triathlete in her 70s and her personal experience is why I suggested it.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,082 Member
    I was injured last year with a herniated disk and then a busted up foot...couldn't really do much of anything for about 3 months and after that is was another couple of months of really light work...I was injured in July 2016 and wasn't really back into my full training regimen until January/February. I put on about 10 Lbs because I'm not that good with just limiting my food to the extent that I need to when I'm not exercising.

    IMO, it happens...it's temporary. Once I was able to get back into the swing of things I dropped the weight pretty easily.
  • fitmom4lifemfp
    fitmom4lifemfp Posts: 1,572 Member
    bogwoppt1 wrote: »
    I had a year off running due to an undiagnosed foot fracture. Simply speaking I had to eat less until it got worked out.

    Honestly you have to eat less than you burn to lose, to maintain you have to eat what your body needs. If you are gaining you are eating too much.

    That^^.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,227 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I was injured last year with a herniated disk and then a busted up foot...couldn't really do much of anything for about 3 months and after that is was another couple of months of really light work...I was injured in July 2016 and wasn't really back into my full training regimen until January/February. I put on about 10 Lbs because I'm not that good with just limiting my food to the extent that I need to when I'm not exercising.

    IMO, it happens...it's temporary. Once I was able to get back into the swing of things I dropped the weight pretty easily.

    This. I was injured for quite a while last year into this year and the reduction in activity was significant and abrupt. I’m a short, older, inactive woman so my TDEE was quite low during that time and just eating at maintenance was a challenge. My coach helped me begin Activity when I could and when I was cleared by my doctor/PT, but it was months before my activity level really recovered to where I was not feeling like I was on prison rations just to maintain my weight. A little gain is to be expected I think, because sanity is important (especially when you’re not able to move around and get the activity that also helps mood). It’s temporary and when you’re healed, or able to do more on the way to being healed, you’ll be able to lose again without going crazy.
  • jas82007
    jas82007 Posts: 15 Member
    Many thanks to all.

    I am now taking Glucosamine tablets twice daily and began notice an improvement right away. The therapist today told me to try to walk daily if only for a block or so, did so today and walked total of three blocks. That was in a heavy wind and cold- it felt wonderful. I took Ibuprofen awhile and I think that retains water, also my ankle is very swollen so that may account for 2-3 extra pounds. My bedtime weight last night was close to what it had been before the accident. So there are some bright spots. Probably just a detour.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,420 Member
    I had a pelvic stress fracture about 6 months after I started running. I couldn't run and could barely walk. I ended up losing weight, in part because I was so depressed. I also focused on what I could control, which was my diet. I worked hard to eat healthy. I had time to cook good food. It helped.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    I'm also dealing with a stress fracture right now -- so no running for the past three weeks, and I'm looking at another three without it.

    What's helpful in managing part of it for me is going through with my orthopedist to come up with a fairly exhaustive list of what I'm allowed to do, what is a flat out no (good bye, running), and what is under "only if you modify it to the umpth degree."

    I can get a good burn doing intense swimming that almost rivals my running burn (I swam varsity in high school, so we're not talking "doggy pace and call it intense" swimming), and she signed off on spin today *only* if I get a carbon fiber insert for my shoe and don't stand up (I sent my recovery back three weeks by being a little too competitive in class last week... oops! -- at least the insert will get here tomorrow). Barre and yoga are OK with modifications, but don't give as much of a burn, so I'm trying to stick with the swimming first, and then back to spin when my insert comes.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,517 Member
    Been there, done it... many times. The best advise really is to let it heal. A sprained ankle might need a few weeks to heal. if you've worked out regularly then you might first of all see an increase in water weight if you don't fill up all the fluids you lost from exercising. Plus your body always reacts to changes with more water. That is normal. Nothing to worry about. What you could do is eat at maintenance while you're healing if that is easier for you. and get something to do to fight boredom. Download the duolingo app or go to their website and learn a new language, learn programming, anything that keeps you occupied. There a lot of things you can do while being less active, really.
  • jas82007
    jas82007 Posts: 15 Member
    I have to wonder if the Glucosamine I am taking is retaining water. I think they are helping me heal - a lot. My scale weight wasn't that out of normal until last week when i started with that. I have read they use salt as a filler in some of the tablets. Could take a mild diuretic and see if that helps. I went to the Dr this week and my BP was WAY up, 180/100.
  • bisky
    bisky Posts: 816 Member
    edited October 2017
    You could do upper body workouts and maybe leg lifts avoiding putting weight on your injured leg. Swimming? Passive bicycling in a gym with little resistance...at least it would be non weight bearing and keep your hip and knees moving. Don't forget to change your settings for decreased exercise.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,517 Member
    jas82007 wrote: »
    I have to wonder if the Glucosamine I am taking is retaining water. I think they are helping me heal - a lot. My scale weight wasn't that out of normal until last week when i started with that. I have read they use salt as a filler in some of the tablets. Could take a mild diuretic and see if that helps. I went to the Dr this week and my BP was WAY up, 180/100.

    Fluid around an insury helps with healing. Taking a diuretic might have the opposite effect. Plus you'll be losing important electrolytes.