Suspected twisted ankle

May 18, 2020

In the last few months I’ve really got back into running (running most days but only 3-4 miles with some rest days and a few longer runs).

The other day, (after a 5 min warm up walk) I rolled inwards on my ankle on some uneven grass about 10 mins into my run. I stopped my run as it was painful and walked for about 30 mins thinking I’d just twisted it a bit and it would wear off, but it was still aching by that evening, very painful with certain movement directions, and restricted in mobility in general. it was very slightly (almost not noticeably) swollen.

I didn’t ice it as thought it was just a twist, not a sprain, but its now Monday and although its much better, movement returning and almost pain free, it is still slightly swollen and painful with certain movements.

Do I need to rest it a few more days or do you think its okay to run again? And am I right in thinking its just a bit of bruising? I know ankles are delicate so don’t want to exacerbate an injury, but also keen to get back to running and don’t want to be overly cautious about a simple twisted ankle!

May 18, 2020

Hi Holly

You sounds as if you know what you’re doing!

We just shot some great lockdown videos on the same thing and

Give it a little longer – you can work on balance and strength or jump on a bike but if your stability is temporarily lacking, you’ll be more prone to re-spraining.

I’d normally suggest at least a week or 10 days before you slowly return to running. Try these:


Guru Responded
May 18, 2020

Gosh really, a week to 10 days? I was thinking I might be out running by tomorrow!! Do you think its safe to run once the swelling has gone down given its now more or less pain free  or do you still think I’d need to wait after that?  Also, can I start doing the strengthening exercises now or should I wait til all swelling is gone? I’m not sure if doing exercises is what’s made it swell up a bit more or if that’s just because I’ve been walking around on it all day.

Ive been walking around on it no problem for the last 3 days and its just a little sore in certain movements rather than painful – but I’m worried because I didn’t ice it for the first 3 days and it is now a bit swollen! I iced it for the first time last night and am now icing it again having watched that video –  its not particularly painful but it is a little more swollen than it was yesterday. It sounds like I should probably be icing it more often than I have been.

Be great to know if its okay to start doing the exercises already and if you think I can run again once its pain- and swelling-free?!


May 18, 2020

Rough guide!!

If it feels it good enough to run on – and your balance is OK then go for a short, straight line recovery run.

Run for a minute walk for a minute and repeat x10 then come home and see how you feel for the rest of the day and especially tomorrow morning. If it’s all OK then repeat. Give it 2 days then increase either your time or activity level by 50% and see what gives.

The lack of swelling probably tells your ligaments have been only strained not sprained.

Defiantly start the exercises tonight – I think it probably swells as the day goes on because you haven’t had it up and the swelling pools on your ankle. Doing some calf raises should help.

Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems… Keep icing for the next few days.

Let me know if it’s not behaving – but as long as you’re respectfully careful I’m sure you’ll be good to go.

guru-profile Guru Responded
May 18, 2020

Okay that’s really helpful thank you! Yes the run walk run test out sounds like a good idea, if the swelling and pain is gone by tomorrow I’ll try that, and will work on the ankle strengthening exercises too to build them up a bit!

Thanks so much, really helpful

May 20, 2020

Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice – ankle still sore, less swollen but still a bit so I think resting it for longer was the right  advice in the end! I think I must have hurt it more than I thought. I’ve nearly got full range of motion back but still painful in certain angles and as I get close to edge of range.

Focusing on keeping it mobile by walking and doing all the exercises you sent me and also bought a compression ankle support for when I’m walking around on it.

Thanks so much for all the advice – will try and keep these exercises up once my foot is better to strengthen my ankles!

Amazingly helpful service, thank you!

May 20, 2020

Morning Holly – sounds all OK.

Why you feel sore at the end of certain range and odd angle is because the ligaments (the supports around the ankle) have been over stretched. The deal about relative resting is to allow some healing of the ligaments to take place, and if you improve your muscle strength and balance then even more load is taken off the ligaments, allowing them to heal in good order.

Crack on with your rehab – allow some relative and respectful load and you’ll be fully back out there very soon

guru-profile Guru Responded
May 21, 2020

Hi Guru!

Sorry me again – a follow up question… it’s 4 days since my injury and the swelling is mostly gone apart from a small lump on the top of my ankle, in the crook of the joint in line with my big toe. I still have some pain in my foot and haven’t got full range of movement back yet, particularly in side to side movement, where it still feels stiff and painful (particularly in the opposite direction (soles turning inwards) to the way I rolled it.

But also I have now developed a really tight knot in my calf muscle, almost like a cramp, which no amount of massage or foam rolling seems to get rid of!

Any thoughts on what I should be doing more or less of? Do you think short amounts of run-walk-run might loosen things up a little or will that do more harm?

Should I be icing more? Wearing support bandage more/less? Doing more/less strength exercises? Is it good to keep circling my foot and going to the edge of where it hurts to try and increase movement or is this making it worse?

Feeling frustrated as thought it was nearly better on Tuesday but by end of yesterday it was feeling worse!

Haven’t done any running yet, just walking around with and without a support bandage.

Any advice appreciated..!


Also forgot to mention that I often get a pinching lower back pain on my left side just above my hip bones – this is a long-standing issue I’ve seen people about before, but it definitely seems to have flared up again since I hurt my ankle (same side). Might just be not moving around as much but imagine the two might be connected… anyway just letting you know in case it’s relevent!

May 22, 2020

Hi Holly – it’s all about your expectations and my experience!

You’re doing fine – things that take 2 seconds to do never take anywhere the same amount of time to get better, and 50% of ankles take 4 weeks to get better. So you’re plumb in the middle.

Your swelling is settling, your pain is diminishing and your range is improving. All good news and yes it’s exactly the right time to start the run/walk cycle. Straight line only and don’t over do it – it’ll really help your calf, and probably some respectful through range stretches, not just hammering at end range will really help.

Sounds like you’re over the icing and compression stage but do keep on with the balance and strength work.

Take it easy, but positive. Try a little run in the next 48 hours.

guru-profile Guru Responded

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