Advice for quick fix on bum ankle?
July 3, 2014 12:33 PM   Subscribe

YANMD: I tweaked my achillies playing tennis last night (this has happened before), I'm quite limpy and in pain today. My parents (who I rarely get to see) are coming to town this weekend and we have a great hike planned. What should I be doing for the next 48 hours to increase the likelihood that we can actually go out as planned?
posted by Cosine to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
compression (read down for method to wrap ankle)! It's so great. get an ace bandage and wrap snugly, but not super tight - you need to check your toes and make sure they are still warm and pink, and that you have good capillary refill. Ice and advil if there's a lot of discomfort, but I've found that compression and support is really helpful.

Caveat - this has been useful to me for general ankle pain and not for achilles - which is really a different set of structures. So take that into consideration
posted by mercredi at 1:04 PM on July 3, 2014

Thinking appears to have shifted somewhat from the old RICE recommendations.

Limited movement, compression and elevation seem to allow for the fastest recovery times, based on some new research. Icing, or over-icing, seems to slow recovery, and inflammation doesn't appear to be that bad after all for minor soft tissue damage.
posted by bonehead at 1:55 PM on July 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have ongoing achilles tendinopathy which varies in intensity. It flared up again pretty dramatically last week and what helped me get it under control was elevation and ice. Which involved a lot of sitting on the couch with my leg up, ankle on ice pack - obviously not a lot of movement going on there. However at least part of the flare-up seemed to involve inflammation. Normally achilles tendons are pretty resistant to anti-inflammatory treatments (pills, ice) because it's frequently not inflammation which is causing the pain. That's certainly the case with my ongoing injury. Mechanical things like splints, lifts etc don't seem to help much for the most part so not sure compression would work either. And unlike joints, it's hard to really put compression on the tendon. Still, probably worth a go as it's unlikely to make anything worse and might give the surrounding areas some extra support.

tl;dr: rest, some ice, elevation.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:51 AM on July 4, 2014

I've had recurring Achilles issues, and aside from lots of rest, the only thing that ever gave me any kind of quick turn around was cortisone shots in and around my heel. It's an incredibly painful series of shots, given the thinness of the tissue over the bones in the area, combined with the viscosity of cortisone. The first day after the shots was agony. The second day I was back at work, standing all day while teaching classes (not pain free by any means, but pain-managed). I can say it's what you should do, and I imagine your parents will understand.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:37 AM on July 4, 2014

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