Member Case Study: Sore Ankles

author : AMSSM
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Member Question from recon110


"I have been having problems with sore ankles and feet after doing my swim workouts and this has carried over to my run as well. I do not do flip turns in the pool. The pool I do lap swims in is only 22 meters in length. I simply push off the wall with both feet. I think being in a shorter length pool puts more repetitive stress on my ankles for push off. What can I do besides using ice on my ankles?"

Answer from Ron Hanson, MD FAAFP

Member AMSSM

There are a lot of questions that need to be asked before you can be provided with an appropriate treatment plan. Treating this problem early can often shorten the recovery period.

Here are some of the questions I'd ask:


Do you have previous injuries, and if so, did you do appropriate rehabilitation of the injuries?
What part of the foot/ankle is sore?
Have you changed strokes with the same results?
Is there numbness, tingling, change in coloration, clicking, swelling, or bruising?
Does the pain subside during the run, or does the pain abate only when you are finished?

Have you increased the other parts (running) of your training?
Have you changed shoes?
What else (if anything) helps it other than ice?

The above question list is certainly not complete. However, there are a few things you can try for treatment without having all the answers. Mild analgesics before training such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be helpful. I have my patients ice massage the affected area for 8 minutes 3 times a day. The massage may increase blood flow while using ice ensures the appropriate temperature. Do not use the ice massage for more than 8 minutes at a time, as frostbite can occur. A good strengthening and stabilization program for the foot and ankles often helps correct weaknesses that otherwise cause more stress on other areas.

If the soreness does not respond to the general suggestions above it is time to consider seeing a clinician who treats triathletes to help answer some of the above questions. With a good history and physical exam, a sports physician can proved a more precise treatment plan to keep you training and racing successfully. I hope you recover well.

Ron Hanson, MD FAAFP
CAQ Sports Medicine
  

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date: September 25, 2009

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AMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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avatarAMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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