Ankles Still Sore...what am I doing wrong?

I posted around a month ago after sustaining a mild sprain to my right ankle. Over the last month it has improved a little - it doesn't click any more and I do have the occasional day where it doesn't hurt much, or at all. However, it (and now my other ankle as well) continue to feel sore almost all the time, regardless of what I do. I've contemplated going back to the doctor but since she didn't even look at it last time, I'm thinking it's probably a waste of an appointment. I haven't returned to any high impact exercise at all - at most, in terms of cardio, I stick to the exercise bike or rowing machine, and I haven't been doing any lunges in case it's too much stress for my ankles, but it just seems to continue! I'm really not sure what to do now, or if there's anything at all I can do? I keep using freeze gel on it, just in case the aching is anything to do with the swelling, but I have tried not using it as well, and there doesn't seem to be any benefit either way!

What is the protocol in situation like this? Is there someone specific I should be seeing? Or is it just taking longer because my job involves standing up for 16 hours a week?


  • lois1231
    lois1231 Posts: 325 Member
    edited February 2018
    I would give it a little more time. Try icing it when you are off it and raising it, maybe some over-the-counter motrin or something along that line. If it doesn't get better I would go back to the doctor and have them do an MRI. I twisted mine two years ago and kept having problems and found out that I tore the ligament off the bone. In a cast for 3 months mostly non weighbearing. Still have problems with it. Poster above is right, it takes forever for them to heal.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    I sound like a broken record, however, are you seeing a physical therapist and if not why not? Also I second the other people who have replied - give it time. As far as your other ankle goes, it's very potentially overcompensating which causing pain in your non-injured ankle
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    Standing for 16 hours a day probably isn't helping. You need to rest it more.

    Going back to your doctor or physio is probably a good idea too, just to check it's healing ok.
  • OldHobo
    OldHobo Posts: 647 Member
    Standing up 16 hrs. per week seems remarkable only in how little that is. I have had problems with feet and ankles that the doc didn't seem to care much about either. In my case I suspect her lack of interest is because all fat old men have problems with feet and ankles. High blood glucose and/or high uric acid can also cause foot and ankle pain and when the pain seems to migrate to different areas of the foot and even to the other foot I suspect the latter.
    My pain has been gone for two months now. I credit weight loss.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    In addition to useful advice above, consider what you are wearing for shoes, both at work and at home. I am recovering from a mild to moderate sprain & wore supportive shoes ALL the time once I was able to walk on it without an ace bandage. Usually I never wear shoes inside my home but I found that for the first few weeks, I had pain if I didn't. Once I was able to walk a couple of miles without pain and new bruising, and once I had no pain walking inside barefoot, THEN I went back to the gym (first time this past Friday, despite my initial plan to go and just do upper body). So far, so good.
  • jo_nz
    jo_nz Posts: 595 Member
    So is it still swollen? If so, keep resting it and keep it elevated above hip height when possible.

    With the exercise bike, when I was recovering from my broken ankle (after the cast was off), the recommendation from my physio was 5 mins biking every hour through the day, along with some stretching exercises to try and improve the range of movement, but still elevated in between. Little and often was the key message.

    I personally find that keeping my ankle warm (wool socks) helps reduce the aches - a LOT. (but I do have metalwork in there which may be making it more sensitive to cold - only for 3 more weeks though!).

    But a month is still early days - take it easy and try to be patient. It's so frustrating at the time, but in the long run it's just a small bump in the road.

  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    As was said, joints heal slowly. This is because they are basically avascular (lacking blood vessels). So unlike muscles, which get nutrients from the bloodstream, joints get it pumped to them from movement. The more movement, the more nutrients they get, so frequent movement speeds healing. When you sit, wiggle your ankle around every minute or two. Use a reminder app until it becomes a habit. Just avoid any movements that hurt.

    Switch to shoes with no raised heel, like Keds, Converse, etc. Almost all shoes have a raised heel, which is stressful to the ankle.

    If you see a professional, i'd go to a sport physical therapist, sports orthopedist, or possibly an Osteopathic Doctor, which is sort of like an MD and physical therapist in one. :+1:
  • 30kgin2017
    30kgin2017 Posts: 228 Member
    I sustained a moderate sprain about 12 years ago, even now that ankles swells up more with exercise. In addition to the advice above consider a compression bandage (but look at who shouldn't wear one). It helps with swelling and blood flow which in turns help with faster healing. I got one for plantar fasciitis on the other foot and at the time we also discussed it could be beneficial for swelling on my other ankle. I still wear a compression bandage from time to time if I notice symptoms starting to flare up.
  • bogwoppt1
    bogwoppt1 Posts: 159 Member
    You should definitely see a physiotherapist, they will help you work on basic strength and stability that you need before returning to exercise fully.

    I had a bad sprain and fracture a year ago. Basic exercises really got me back in action, but it took time and a lot of hard work. I saw both a kinesiologist and a sport physio, they worked as a team to help me back to my sports.
  • Lean59man
    Lean59man Posts: 714 Member
    Sprained ankles take along time to heal. Several months.
  • lois1231
    lois1231 Posts: 325 Member
    30kgin2017 wrote: »
    I sustained a moderate sprain about 12 years ago, even now that ankles swells up more with exercise. In addition to the advice above consider a compression bandage (but look at who shouldn't wear one). It helps with swelling and blood flow which in turns help with faster healing. I got one for plantar fasciitis on the other foot and at the time we also discussed it could be beneficial for swelling on my other ankle. I still wear a compression bandage from time to time if I notice symptoms starting to flare up.

    I agree. I wear a compression bandage daily. It helps. Also when I went to a foot doctor he recommended high top shoes.
  • allaboutthecake
    allaboutthecake Posts: 1,503 Member
    edited February 2018
    We all have to work. Recommend wearing Z-Coil shoes. You can get them with enclosed heal for work/safety. For years, that was the only type shoe I could wear on the hard concrete allowing me less pain. This shoe will take the stress off your body including your feet/ankles/back, etc. I highly recommend and highly recommend purchasing from an authorized dealer (vs just off the 'net) cuz they are able to customize the size/turn heel of the shoe to fit your type of stance allowing better comfort.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,114 Member
    Sprains are sometimes worse than broken bones to heal.

    Also--if you have sprained your ankle previously that can make you more susceptible to arthritis in the long term.
  • hotchiccy
    hotchiccy Posts: 6 Member
    Blimey, that's a lot of replies!! Thanks, everyone!!!

    Okay, so I'll try to address everything here.

    There was never any visible swelling or bruising. It was a very mild sprain and I am a massive baby, lol. My chiropractor said there was a fair bit of internal swelling when she saw it a week or two after it happened but that does seem to have gone down now.

    I haven't seen a physical therapist because when I saw my doctor she didn't even bother looking at it - she literally just told me to take ibuprofen and rest it as much as possible. She honestly didn't care even a bit! Having had no joy there, I went to my chiropractor the next day and she was much more helpful. She was the one who diagnosed it as a sprain. She did some adjustments on it and gave me instructions to ice, elevate, rest when I could and wear no footwear that offers no arch support.

    Regarding the footwear - I'm normally in slippers as I'm a student part-time. When I'm at work I'm in boots with a 1-inch heel, which I don't think is helping much. Since my chiro recommended arch support, I've been wearing my running trainers around the house rather than slippers, which I generally think helps.

    After seeing my doctor but before seeing the chiro I did buy a compression bandage but I didn't think it was really doing anything so I haven't worn it in a week or so...perhaps this was a mistake in hindsight but it didn't seem to feel any better while I was wearing it than when I wasn't and since there wasn't any visible swelling I figured it was pointless.

    I doubt it's related to my weight. I'm 5'5 and 8st 12lbs, so I'm pretty much exactly where my weight should be.

    I saw my chiropractor today and there are signs it's improving but it's still extremely sore at times and keeps stiffening up so she said if it's still hurting in a week or so, I should go back to my GP and insist on an x-ray to make sure it's not a stress fracture.

    For now, the chiro has given me a bunch of stretches to do (if it doesn't hurt to do them) to try to help build up some strength in the joint. I can't do them tonight as the adjustments she did will need to calm down before I can begin them so I'll start tomorrow and see how I get on but ironically, it hasn't hurt anywhere near as much today!

    Thanks again, everyone. I'll just have to see how I get on over the next week or so.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,587 Member
    I think the shoes you wear are essential. Make sure you've got your arch support all the time especially with your work shoes. It will take longer to heal if you do half and half--half at home, and then a shoe without support at work. I second exercises to strengthen ankles--alot of people neglect this. It takes a few minutes a day. Since I'm older I've discovered how to work with these problems, since they crop up with more frequency.