Ankle Inversion Injury- A First Hand Experience. PART FOUR

Week 3

I have managed to do a 45 minute work out on the cross trainer, which seemed to feel ok in the ankle, the only thing I seemed to struggle with was the immense boredom of spending 45 minutes on a cross trainer. When I got off the machine my ankle did feel rather stiff and  I had to hobble my way back to the changing rooms, but after a warm shower it was moving quite well again.

Over the last couple of days I have started to feel some discomfort in my left hip, in what seems to be my gluteus medius (outer buttock muscle) region and I have also had a few twinges in my ITB (​Illiotibial Band, connective tissue, outer thigh). I have to assume that having damaged the ligaments and effectively hit the “proprioceptive reset button” I must be compensating elsewhere to gain stability.  I spent a lot of time on my feet at the weekend walking around on grass which again felt ok at the time, but by the end of the night the ankle was swollen and achy.

I have started feeling pain on the plantar aspect of my left heel and the plantar aspect of my metatarsal heads (boney points at ball of foot) feel very bruised when I wake up in the morning.  This pain seems to stay for quite some time.  I have put this down to a number of things; firstly it may well be my physiotherapist induced hypochondria! As I seem to be feeling aches and twinges everywhere now! But assuming a logical head, I have been wearing very flat shoes of late, mainly due to the swelling meaning my ankle wouldn’t fit in other shoes for a long while.  But also the running shoes that I usually wear all day at work started irritating my ankle… which leads me to another interesting observation: I am much happier walking in bare feet… my ankle doesn’t seem to hurt at all when I walk in bare feet.  This may well be due to the shoes I wear, or maybe the floor providing that much needed proprioceptive feedback that my ankle is lacking at the moment…. Anyway I seem to have gone off on a tangent.  Back to explaining the heel pain…. I do feel like I am being a little “heavy footed” on the left side when walking, whether this is because I still haven’t got my full plantar-flexion back yet, or just due to the proprioceptive insufficiencies, I do feel my left  heel is hitting the floor harder.  I imagine it can be explained by a combination of all of the above.

Now for the positives!  I am finally able to single leg calf raise without getting that horrible feeling in the back of my ankle.  It still isn’t perfect but I am able to get much further.  Now all I get is pain in my Peronei / Fibularis muscles (muscles on the outer region of the shin which stabilise the foot, and move it down and out) when I get to the top of the calf raise.  But I have been making sure I have been doing some maximum reps a couple of times a day since I discovered the posterior ankle pain had gone.  I am also able to stand on one leg for longer and feel like my ankle is actually contributing to the “balancing corrections” now, which I am happy about!

My plan for this week is to push a little bit with trying to get my plantar-flexion back, as it is very tight on the anterior aspect on my forefoot, lateral malleolus and forefoot at the end of my current range.  I will also try and encourage some inversion a little more.  I am also going to start using a wheat pack / ice combo on my ankle in the evenings to try and get rid of the swelling that is still there.  I plan on doing another cross trainer session tonight, and will probably do a couple more next week before I try and do a light jog.  I will also continue to do my single leg stands until they become much more comfortable and try to progress with my single leg calf raise.   Finally, it’s time for the most horrible (but effective) invention of all time…. The FOAM ROLLER! I feel I need to get on top of these pesky niggles I am getting in my ITB before it becomes an actual issue.  I think I’ll also try some trigger point release on my Glutes and do some stretches.