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cardio conditioning

Why does an ankle sprain cause back pain?

Have you ever sprained your ankle, and noticed that your back began to hurt? Why does one lead to the other?

Sprains can take 6 weeks to 3 months to heal.  If you want to run before that time, you should wear a brace and be checked out by a physician or health care provider first.  

In addition to the actual sprain having to heal, injuries to the ankle also cause secondary problems as a result of being off your feet for so long and having pain.  You may have noticed that you begin to limp.   When you limp, your hip muscles get very weak, and so do your knee muscles and your calf muscles. You can also develop back pain.  

In addition, you balance will suffer and you will be more likely to re-sprain your ankle again when running.

What can you do to decrease your back pain from walking with a limp?

First, make sure you don't have a fracture, and get checked out by your physician or primary care provider.

Secondly, use the RICE (rest, ice elevation) formula in the short term immediately after you sprain your ankle.

Thirdly, Begin to do gentle range of motion exercises, for example drawing the alphabet with your foot. Add gentle strengthening of the knee, hip and core to reduce back pain when walking with a limp.

Fourth, when your physician clears you to use a brace and not be in a cast boot or on crutches make sure to gentle strengthening exercises of the foot. You can use surgical tubing or theraband for foot exercises. Biking for cardio conditioning is a good idea.

Fifth, once your strength and movement is a little better you can begin strengthening in weight on your bad foot. Add some balance exercises.

Of course you may want some guidance to help you recover sucessfully and get back to full time running.