I woke up this morning at 6AM to the sound of my alarm. As I hopped out of bed, a sharp pain stabbed into the inside of my right ankle.”Yep…” I muttered to no one in particular, “Too much sprinting on concrete.” You see, the gym I teach my Taekwondo classes in is basically a concrete slab with a short, dense layer of carpet on it (a special kind of gym carpet you can play basketball on). Problem is, there’s no forgiveness on your joints. I should have taken precautions yesterday so it wouldn’t have been so bad today. Unfortunately, I didn’t, so now I’m stuck limping around the office like a goof hoping we don’t have a zombie apocalypse today…that’d suck.
So what’s a gimpy like me to do?
Well first off, don’t be stupid! I should have worn shoes for the sprints or taken my class outside to run sprints in the grass. Sprinting is very high impact and doing it on a hard surface (concrete in my case) is a recipe for disaster.
I should have blunted any potential inflammation that night. Chances are you won’t feel any pain after the workout. I sure didn’t. To be honest, I was afraid my thighs would be too sore to walk properly. I didn’t give a thought to my ankles. Whenever you do anything high impact, icing the areas of concern afterwards is a good practice to get into. This will help reduce inflammation. A couple of other things that will help is take an anti-inflammatory like Tylenol and a fish oil pill.
Let it rest. Unfortunately for me, I have a standing workstation so I just have to grin and bear it. If at all possible, wrap up the affected area and let it rest. Ice it every few hours for no more than 10 minutes and pop some more Tylenol and fish oil.
The next night is the night for the cold/hot trick. Mr Miyagi would be jealous. This technique works great for sprains, bruises, swelling, and general inflammation. There’s a little setup required. Here’s what you will need:
- 2 med-large buckets
- Bag of ice (technically optional but recommended)
- Hot and cold water
- Epsom Salt (optional)
Fill up one bucket with water as hot as you can stand and add the Epsom salt. Fill the other with ice water. Stick the affected area in the ice water for 1 minute. After a minute has passed, immediately put it in the hot water for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, back it goes into the ice water. Repeat this process for about 15-16 minutes. Just a warning…it’s not pleasant and your nerves will be screaming when you switch from bucket to bucket, but boy does it work!
While little things like this are not serious, they can set you back a day or 2 of training while you’re recuperating. It’s best to prevent the issue to begin with but if the injury is unavoidable, knowing how to properly treat it will get you on your feet and training as soon as possible.
Got any tips of your own that you use to recover from an injury faster? Leave them in the comments section.