I recently sprained my foot/ankle by falling down some stairs.(Yes, I know. I’m not that graceful!) There was not a lot of swelling and no bruising. It is still sore and painful, but not unbearable. I cannot run or jump on it without pain. Doing the RICE treatment.
This happened about a week ago and I’ve only done small rides to and from work (3 miles). I’m afraid of pushing myself too hard and injuring it any more.
Is there a safe way to keep training? Any advice or exercises I could to do strengthen it up? I don’t want to quit riding, but don’t want to make things worse. I’ve heard that recovering from a sprain is worse than breaking it.
If the pain eases as you exercise or ride, then the damage is likely to the muscle and will heal pretty quickly. If as you ride the pain gets worse, then it’s probably in the joints, tendons or ligaments and the healing may take some time. Let your body be your guide. Riding with mild discomfort is OK, but be ready to dial it back as needed. Avoid long loops because you don’t want to be far out when/if you reach your pain threshold – just do a bunch of shorter out and back rides so you can stop when you need to. One more thing – since unclipping involves twisting, you may want to switch out your pedals.
Ask your doctor if you can do spin classes as physical therapy for it. You could do this at home with a trainer.
A number of years ago. I had a nasty crash and screwed my hip up. I used my trainer for physical therapy. 3 weeks after the accident I rode TOMRV. A 200 mile 2 day ride with 12,000 feet of climb. My hip barked a bit on the ride. But I was still able to do it because I spun on the trainer and did short rides. What was interesting, I still needed my cane to walk. The doc told me that was because in the saddle I was not putting any weight on it. I would assume that would be the same case for your ankle.
I always like cycling or spinning when I sprained an ankle. I could keep my legs fit and it was low impact. Actually helped me keep the ankle loose and helps break up the scar tissue. I agree with the others though, short rides or stationary until you know you can go further. You will be fine by RAGBRAI. I tore a calf muscle last yeah on Jan 1, happy new year right. Cycling or spinning made the recovery much faster.
Take it easy. Listen to your body. If what you do one day hurts the next, dial it back. If it feels ok, step it up the next, and yes, stay close until you are sure what you can do. I actually compound dislocated and fractured my ankle 2 months ago and just had my first outside ride today. I’ve lost a lot of muscle and speed, but have confidence that RAGBRAI will not be a problem in the least. Actually, biking works better than walking. Little at a time.
Thanks for all your advice! Rode 15 miles today and it was alright. Started to feel it in my foot the last 4 miles or so, but it finished it! Part of the problem, I think, is wrapping my foot. I can’t find the right shoe to wear and feel comfortable to ride. Gonna do some shopping tomorrow and try to find a better wrap.
Yep, I am happy I have sandals. I can wear the big ankle brace and it fits fine. My chiropractor had never heard of biking sandals and was sure I would have to buy new shoes because of my swollen foot.