Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Sprained ankle and cycling

milesemilese Posts: 1,233
Last Tuesday (9 days ago) I sprained my ankle playing football.

Someone stood on the outside of my leg about 4" about my ankle, causing the inside of my ankle to over. Hurt like hell. Swelled up so you couldn't see the ball. Came back down to a nice bruise on the outside rear of my foot, the inside rear of my foot and the area I was stood on.

Walking was painful for a few days. Since then I've been able to put weight on it and walk ok, but extending it is painful, particulary raising toe towards knee. I can always feel it, in a dull ache / fizzing sensation. It doesn't seem to have got any better in the last 4 or 5 days.

I've not ridden my bike since.

I know it needs rest and time, but if I can ride my bike without it hurting, does that mean its doing no further damage and that I can carry on?

Anyone got any experience of riding with sprained ankles? Any other thoughts or advice?


  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I and both sons have sprained various things repeatedly. Ankles seem for some reason to be the most painful and take the longest to heal. Maybe it's because they are such a complicated structure.

    If you can cycle without pain I suspect you're doing no harm, indeed the increased circulation may be beneficial to the healing process. Physio following a sprain seems to involve movement rather than rest. Standing on a balance board first with both feet, then with just the damaged side.
  • Mike67Mike67 Posts: 585
    I guess it depends what kind of cycling you're doing really.

    I wouldn't go sprinting or honking it up hills or anything.

    I've ridden with a sprained ankle caused by fell running before and found it less painful than even walking on it. Just took it easy and pedalled steadily.

    When you think about it, your foot moves around far less cycling than it does running and it's always on a stable base, so no twisting either (unless you've got dodgy pedals of course :D )
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    Thanks for the replies. I've been out today and yesterday for a total of 70 miles and its been fine. Which makes me happy.
  • After being rear-ended by a distracted driver I had to do some rehabbing of my ankle (very bad sprain, soft tissue damage) among other things.
    I saw a PT and spoke to an OT and a Sports Trainer and have done the following: Over two weeks I did 30 sessions of icing the ankle/foot (with toes out of the water) for 20 minutes-this brought swelling down most of the way and slightly increased mobility. Then I added 10 minutes a day of very light spinning, basically a warm-up. And then I saw a PT who gave me a bunch of exercises that take 1:15 to do and primarily focus on range of motion of the ankle (basically just move your ankle back and forth 20x and then side to side 20x for a week or so and then stretch it with a bit more force after a good warm up). Therabands can be helpful (push your toes out, like a standing calf-raise and then puill up with the band to overcompensate/stretch further than if you were not engaging the muscle-works great). Hold stretch for two slow breaths/10seconds. Also the comment about balance work is spot on and seems to be the current school of thought out there, go to and get one of their foam cushions or the like and then do balance work while on the affected foot. No pain, no gain? ...but take it slow, not too much pain (if it leads to swelling, back off).
    Good luck.
Sign In or Register to comment.