Playing quite a lot of football as I do I’m forever picking up knocks, bruises and strains. I don’t mind really as that’s part of the fun, although I’m sure some people think I suffer from spousal abuse with all the bruises I get! 😉
Anyway, my ankles seem to take more of a battering than anything else – I guess when you mis-time a tackle and get the man instead of the ball it’s their ankle that you’re most likely to tread on. Sometimes I’d have to strap up my ankle for the next few times games and sometimes I’d have to miss games altogether until it got better. But then a friend of mine gave me some great advice about dealing with ankle injuries – although he warned me that it’s a bit painful. Since it’s been such a successful treatment for me I thought I’d mention it here in case you’ve hurt your ankle stepping off a pavement / playing football / mud wrestling / Scots country dancing / doing some other activity.
So, here’s how to get a speedy recovery from an ankle strain or mild sprain. I like to call it the “Ice Bucket Treatment”:
- Fill up a bucket or basin with cold water and as much ice as you can get your hands on.
- Get yourself a towel (handy for all occasions).
- Plunge your foot into the bucket until it goes numb (this should take a few minutes and you’ll know when it is because the agonising pain will have stopped – see right).
- Take your foot out, dry it and wait for it to warm up again.
- Repeat from step 3 several times until the ice has pretty much melted.
If you do this for a few nights after your injury you’ll be surprised how much more quickly it recovers than if you just left it alone.
One thing to warn you of is that step 3 really is surprisingly painful. My good lady made the mistake of telling me she’d hurt her ankle and having laughed at my suffering many times doing the ice bucket treatment I suggested she give it a try. The first thing she did after putting her foot in the bucket was to take it out again followed by uttering an expletive about how cold it was. I told her to put it back in and keep it there until it went numb – which she duly did. However the poor thing had tears streaming down her face from the pain as she did it so in the end we agreed that maybe the ice bucket treatment wasn’t for her. She doesn’t find it as amusing when I do it now so it wasn’t a total loss!
Ice baths are commonly used by professional athletes after training sessions and games / races to good effect but I don’t fancy filling up a wheelie bin with water and ice after every game thank you very much – however don’t let that stop you if you have your own ice machine!