When to return to running after spraining an a... - Couch to 5K

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When to return to running after spraining an ankle?


I am up to week 6 and have sprained my ankle. Nothing major I can walk on it fine but it is slightly swollen. When do I know its OK to return to running? Very frustrating to get another injury after I took 6 months off running earlier in the year due to a knee and hip/buttocks injury from falling at iceskating.

3 Replies

Well, certainly after swelling is completely gone. Some sprains are worse than breaks, although on evidence it doesn’t seem that yours is one of those. I’d suggest brisk walks to begin to test it, and very short (20 yard jobs) to see if it reacts... then same on an incline... then a very gentle start while being prepared to stop. This is what I’ve always done with my knees. Probably worth a physio visit for some exercises and advice too.

How long to start that though, I don’t know. Depends on the extent of the sprain and the rate of healing.

Good luck.


When it stops hurting.

I was out of running for several weeks with a minor turn of my ankle........but cycling was deemed as beneficial by my physio mate, to keep the joint active and improve blood supply without any load bearing, once initial pain had gone.

Take care.


Definitely wait for pain and swelling to go down, but also be sensible in the mean time. I think the advice is to elevate it as often as you can such as when sitting watching the tv etc, icing while its still swollen and then gentle flexing once the soft tissue has drained to reduce stiffness. I had a very serious sprain about 11 years ago and it took over a year to heal ( dog pulled me over in the sheet ice we had that year, I also fell on my face, broke a tooth and bruised my mouth so badly I couldn't eat anything but soup.lol). Yours sounds a bit less serious thankfully but do be patient. Hope your soon on the mend and back out running.

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