Promoting Broken Ankle Healing Using the RICE and MEAT Therapy Protocols
RICE is an acronym for REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION. This mnemonic dates back to the 1970s when a doctor came up with this prescription for healing that became the standard protocol to treat acute injuries.
RICE is an acronym for REST, ICE, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION and MEAT is an acronym for MOVEMENT, EXERCISE, ANALGESICS and THERAPY
More recent medical opinions suggest that both rest and ice can delay healing rather than promote it. Icing can reduce inflammation, and rest can promote joint rigidity, so movement without ice is suggested. The MEAT (MOVEMENT, EXERCISE, ANALGESICS and THERAPY) approach is considered particularly beneficial for ligament and tendon injuries. This all gets confusing when you deal with a trimalleolar fracture that compromises both bones and ligaments. What is the best approach if you have a combination of issues to resolve? Continue reading “Broken Ankle Healing Using RICE and MEAT Therapy”
Unfortunately, I crashed my bike and broke my ankle a bit over two weeks ago. My primary objective for 2016 is to win a full Ironman; a goal I will maintain this season.
I am really fortunate to have Dr. Brent Weatherhead as my orthopedic surgeon. He is an amazing technical surgeon and did an outstanding job to get my fractured ankle anatomically perfect so now we have a realistic plan and schedule to get me back to running full gas this season.
I know a LOT of pro triathletes who have dealt with and are dealing with injury – so my story is not unique. Triathletes and runners have different experiences with a broken ankle. If you found this post searching “exercises you can do with a broken ankle” and “triathlon training after a broken ankle” you are in the same mindset I was in the first two weeks after my crash. I promise you that it gets better after the first two weeks. I am posting these recovery updates to help educate you through MY experience and inspire you with what I found helpful and motivating. It is important to stay positive and focused during your recovery so let’s start with things you can do.
A Video To Demonstrate a Pre Training Core Activation Routine
This video will show you the exercises that I use to activate and prepare my core muscles for training. Without adequate warmup and activation of the core, your biomechanics will not be optimized in training.
This routine does not take a lot of time so it is very easy for me to do it frequently. This is the first thing I do every morning. I implemented this routine when I was suffering from a hip injury and since then I have had not issues with my hip or low back. However, if I don’t do the routine I am aware that my range of motion through the hips for swimming and running is not as good.
This short, simple set of exercises is EFFECTIVE.
You can do this routine in less than five minutes on the pool deck before swimming so try it at your next training session. You may find that even these simple exercises are somewhat difficult which would indicate your neuromuscular recruitment needs work. Over time you will feel stronger and you will experience better results from training – particularly early morning training. Let me know what you think!
After the last race of the season, many athletes enjoy a training break. For anywhere from four to eight weeks, athletes might incorporate complete rest with cross training or unstructured triathlon training. It is a good idea to take a real break from the sport and allow your body to rest.
Some athletes avoid complete rest as they believe it will be very difficult to get back to their previous level of fitness, but this fear is unfounded. Taking a break will result in some detraining but aerobic fitness declines slowly. Underlying fatigue from the previous season is more likely to delay improvement than a break from training. The number one priority after every season must be rest, particularly for athletes who race Ironman and can accumulate a lot of residual fatigue, low grade injury and general overload. The minimum post season break should be four weeks and longer if there is injury to resolve. After that time it is good to get back in action.
Here are five tips to have a strong start to your training build after a break: