For the last 10 days, I have been experiencing a funky pain on my right leg. It started off on my shin which I assumed was shin splints. It’s now progressed to my right ankle and any kind of high-impact exercise highlights the pain more. I initially tried to run through the pain but it only made matters worse so for now I’m avoiding it completely. The idea of a few weeks off running sounds much more appealing than potentially months off. In the meanwhile, I’ve been trying to R.I.C.E. as much as possible: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. I’ve also been wearing this sexy ankle support:
I am no doctor but from what I’ve
researched Googled, it seems to be a mild ankle sprain. Fortunately the pain is not severe to the point that I can’t work out at all. For now, I have been sticking to low-impact exercises like the elliptical, swimming and walks in the park. I’ve also been doing upper body circuits involving both free weights, machines and body-weight exercises like press-ups, tricep bench dips, planks and crunches. It’s not ideal but I’m making it work.
If anything, this pain has definitely been the wake-up call I needed to respect my body beyond regular exercise. There are so many ways to prevent injury from exercise but these are the 4 which I plead “guilty” to, and am vowing to adopt from now on:
1) Do not do too much too soon: In the case of running, try to avoid increasing your mileage more than 10% per week.
2) Stretch, stretch and stretch: This is one of my goals for 2012: STRETCH AFTER EVERY RUN! By improving flexibility, stretching can improve athletic performance and decrease the risk of injury.
3) Don’t push through pain: Coming out of your comfort zones is one thing but asking more from a part of your body than it can currently provide is another. There are no prizes for enduring real discomfort so take it as a signal that something’s wrong and be proactive about it!