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Painful Ankle


BankruptMum
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My daughter badly sprained her ankle back in the summer although has seemed to recover very well and hasnt had any issues with it since.

 

The cold weather does seem to be taking its toll on it though. She is finding it very achy, she is doing her best to keep it warm but I wonder if this is something which will be constant during the cold weather or perhaps she has damaged it slightly by not warming up enough during this cold spell? It hasnt swollen and she has a good range of movement in her ankle, its just sore.

 

Any thoughts?

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Did you get the ankle checked out medically at the time? It would be worth doing that again in case there is anything underlying.

 

I sprained my ankle a long time ago the night before my best friend's wedding. No, I didn't seek medical help. Yes I recovered. But equally sometimes it still bothers me.

 

(I don't dance and I've never had dance training.)

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Yes she was seen in A&E initially as they thought it was broken - had x-ray's etc. It took ages for the swelling to reduce but once it had she has been fine.

 

She has plastered it in deep heat today to try and keep some warmth in it whilst at school - she has just reported it is feeling a little better - maybe she is just feeling the cold :mellow:

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It is true that joints are susceptible to the cold, as the structures tend to stiffen slightly when cold. All the more reason for a thorough cardiovascular warm up before each class (getting out of breath for at least 5 minutes continuous exercise). Deep heat/tiger balm etc all do very little to warm a joint as they cannot penetrate beyond the outer layer of skin. All they do is warm the skin which gives a feeling of warmth but can actually be dangerous as the person using them feels as though the joint is warm so is potentially going to do more damage. However the sheer action of rubbing the joint is fairly effective at increasing local blood flow which CAN help warm it up.

 

I would recommend wearing a support, which will help to insulate the area and keep heat in, as well as doing some extra rises and balance exercises to keep it strong. Ankle injuries can be an issue purely as the sufferer fears a recurrence. Many premiership footballers, gymnasts etc tape their ankles heavily just to feel more secure on them.

 

If the pain gets worse with activity, seek advice from a physio. If activity lessens the pain then it's more likely to be a cold/stiffness issue.

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It's amazing how long the reaction (pain) lasts after the injury has healed especially for soft tissue injuries. Even when it is a broken bone, which generally heals completely, the tissue around it has also suffered and it can have a lifelong memory.

 

A thorough warmup is always necessary before class. While the work at the barre is in itself a warmup, it is not as slow as the body would like. For instance, doing grand pliés as the first or close to the first exercise at the barre is very taxing to all the joints as well as the soft tissue connections.

 

So, she needs to have her own routine for a more step-by-step warmup. I would start by sitting on the floor (on a towel, not directly on the cold floor) and work her feet and ankles - thus warming them without at the same time supporting her weight. Then, stand up and continue on with warming them up while weight supporting.

 

I agree that wrappping the ankle for support is comforting but it also requires the body to do less support on its own. This can have a spiralling effect. As for using a support to keep heat in, a good ankle warmer will do that. You can cut the arm off of an old sweater, or quickly knit a wool tube - or buy it.

 

She also needs to check that when she is dancing that she is not rolling to either side of the foot but is in the center - ever so slightly toward the first three toes but with the little toe in contact with the floor. She should mention her achy ankle to her teacher and ask the teacher to check the weight distribution of the foot during class.

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