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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old December 20th, 2014, 03:23 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32
Default sprained ankle

Just as I was starting to master the single leg slalom on my right leg, I ended up spraining my left ankle at home. Grade 1 sprain, (not serious). Its been 2 days, and I am using a walking cane to faciliate my maximum walking speed. Without it, I need to walk slowly.

I've never had an injury like this, wondering how long before I can safely get back on skates....? Most articles state about 6 weeks, but I hope it can be sooner.
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Old December 20th, 2014, 04:56 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1,098

As with everything else having to do with injuries, the answer is "it depends".

I sprained my ankle a few weeks before Nationals in 2013. The swelling was so bad that I had to heat mold my boot to be able to get my foot in. As a result, I was able to take no time off. From skating and cycling, anyway. I took about a month off of volleyball, which is what caused the sprain. So it is possible to return to some level of activity after two days or so. Of course, I am a speed skater, so that doesn't have the same ankle strain as slalom.

The downside is that it will take longer to heal if you return to action immediately, and you risk making it worse. My ankle was still very noticeably swollen about three weeks after the initial injury. After Nationals I took a month off, so there was plenty of time to heal at that point.

If you don't have a specific short term event which requires you to stay on skates consider cross training or working on the other foot for a few weeks. When you do return do it slowly. You can probably return earlier than the 6 weeks as long as you either take additional rest days in between sessions or cut your sessions short instead of going until you can feel it hurt.
You don't improve by training until it hurts; you improve by training after it hurts.

I love the phrase "I quit". It beats more of my opponents than I do.
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Old December 20th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32

Originally Posted by WJCIV View Post
I sprained my ankle a few weeks before Nationals in 2013. The swelling was so bad that I had to heat mold my boot to be able to get my foot in.
Wow, that must be pressure! I don't compete, but I skate several times a week, and I go pretty hard, its one of the very few things that I do that I really enjoy. And it is keeping me fit. Funny a few days earlier I had a conversation with another skater at the rink "what if I couldn't skate anymore"....... not sure what could replace it. Anyway, day 3 and I feel much better, I might try gentle skating on Monday.
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Old December 20th, 2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Schaumburg, Illinois
Posts: 2,008

I sprained my ankle the week after the Chicagoland Marathon in 2011 on a training skate, getting ready for my first NorthShore. 6 weeks to race day and I was pretty much out of the running. My training is a little different, but this is essentially how it went for me, but your results may vary:

Two weeks, totally off skates, walking with crutches and an ace bandage to help restrict mobility. Ice often.

Next week, one crutch, restricted weight bearing and range of motion exercises, icing as needed.

Next week, full weight bearing, walking. Start training on the stationary bike, stopping immediately if the pain was noticeable.

Next week, skating in high cut fitness boots (I suffered the sprain in my speed skate boots), with short trips on predictable surfaces in my speed boots. Still doing cardio on the bike.

Last week before race included skating on my speed boots.

I finished the race with a little pain, but continued light rehab through the off season. Go easy, these minor sprains can get aggravated and create long term problems. Gradually work back into your exercise both on and off skates, but stop immediately if you are in pain. I am dealing with a left side low back strain, very minor, from weight lifting, and probably won't be lifting much weight until January, but biking doesn't bother me, so I am getting time in on the bike and skating some if I am able. Just go slow. It will heal if you take care of it.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 03:18 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32

Thanks for all that. I couldn't wait, and skated outdoors yesterday afternoon for a couple hours, I can do everything except put weight on my left toe, so no toe rolls. I am perplexed, I couldn't walk Friday without a noticeable limp, and required a cane for faster walking. As of yesterday, I don't require the cane, I feel I am almost recovered. The extent of treatment was ice in the evenings for short periods. Maybe it all comes down to the fact my injury wasn't as bad as I originally thought.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 7,428

Good news then! Don't push it tho. Something was weakened, and you'll acerbate it if you go all out....

I just wish I would learn to take my own advice on these matters....
An early-morning skate is a blessing for the whole day.
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