5 weeks ago I turned my ankle jogging, and while nothing was broken, it's my worst turn ever. Usually I can jog again pain free within a few days but not this time. I still have a little swelling (it's kind of on the outside side of my right ankle but where it joins the main foot in the soft tissue, and not up by the leg), and it hurts to rotate it along the angle of the turn too far. I tried running a week after when I could walk without pain, but it reaggravated it so I'm afraid to run again. Back after it happened, my primary doctor just said it will get better, and to avoid painful things and take ibuprofren.
Can I swim, walk, bike, what? I have an appt with a sports medicine doctor Aug. 15.
There are two major ankle motions usually lacking after a sprain - dorsiflexion (the ability to pull your toes up) and eversion (the ability to roll your foot so that the inside of the heel presses to the floor). As a result, you tend to spend more time than usual on the outside of your foot. This tends to aggravate or cause a greater likelihood of sprain and/or reinjury.
Here's what you can try:
1. Stretch to get more dorsiflexion. A calf stretch is OK. An exercise we called a modified gravity drop is better. If you know yoga - the downward dog can be good, too. What you want to do is make sure your toes are pointed straight ahead (not toed out) when you do this.
2. Get more ankle eversion. One of the best ways to do this is to balance on a 1/2 foam roll (round side down) for 1 minute intervals. At first your leg will shake, but as you reteach your body how to keep balance (which requires eversion) this should help.
3. Do a cross over line walk. Walk like you are stepping over a line. Make sure your toes are pointed straight ahead.
4. Loosen up your hip in the frontal plane. Roll the ITB on a foam roll and also do an exercise called the medial reach with contralateral arm at waist level, or if you do yoga... the triangle to the opposite side.
All this is info based on the hundreds of cases we've seen like yours where a sprain turns into quite a nuisance. I would love to send you some exercise pics if you email me at email@example.com, I'll send those along!