Monday, March 16, 2009

This is the story of your red right ankle...*

My ankles have been sore for the past three days, and I don't know why! I probably need new running shoes. The stress of running might also be exaggerated by all the salty greasy foods I've been eating lately (hello homemade macaroni and cheese in my fridge!), and the fact that my low-heeled black leather Mary-Janes that I wear to work every single day have definitely seen better days and are in need of new heel-tips. Sigh. Why do things have to wear out? Including our bodies. It was depressing to read in the newspaper that scientists now believe that we begin to see effects of old age as early as age 27! Yup. It's all downhill from here, folks. Actually, I don't really care about that. Who cares if I can remember where I put down my glasses. I just want my ankles to stop hurting. So when I got home from work this evening, I went for a quick run, making sure to walk for a long ways afterwards to cool my body down. Then I stretched for about 15 minutes. Then I ran the water in the bathtub until it got really hot, and let my ankles soak for a few minutes, giving them a good massage. Next, I rubbed them with my Absorbine liniment (yes, it's made for horses, but who cares?) and covered them up with my big thick leg-warmers. The liniment really does the trick. Give it a few minutes to kick in and then you feel it burning for a few minutes, then cold and soothing, as the menthol works its magic. E came home and declared "the bathroom stinks!" Well, she's the one who puts vinegar on her hair, so we've both got our quirky home remedies. And my ankles feel wonderful now.

*It's a Decemberists song.


Donnie Barnes said...

Lemme give you a tip. Run that hot bath and make it pretty hot. Hot tub hot. Then get yourself a tub big enough to soak both feet in. Load it with ice water. Very ice water. Put it beside the tub.

Now, you're going to think I'm crazy, but trust me here. Get a timer of some kind. Sit on the edge of the tub. Do four to five in the hot. Then immediately go one full minute cold. Make sure you're just above the ankles with the cold water at least. Then go back to four-five hot. Then another minute cold. Another 4-5 hot. Another cold minute. One last 4-5 hot (or just go ahead and get in the tub and do the entire bath from here).

Yes, it HURTS. That cold water HURTS like this. But it *really* kicks the inflammation out. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water afterward, too.

Then be glad it's only your ankles. I had some back issues and used this therapy method, but I had to do full immersion. You can hardly breathe for that minute. I'm not joking. But it works.

Lady Holiday said...

Thanks for the tip, Donnie. Actually, I remember when you wrote about doing this on your blog. But I wonder if the hot/cold action of my liniment is actually doing the same thing as the hot and cold water? Because after applying it, my ankles would get really hot for a few minutes, then they would feel cold, then hot again. They feel really good now, so I'm fine. But I will keep your advice in mind for next time. I'm glad it worked!

Also, for my blog readers, I want to recommend two things for general ankle (and otherwise) health: Doctors recommend elevating your ankles above the level of your heart for at least 15 minutes a day. This helps a lot with circulation, is good for your heart, and takes the stress off your ankles. Secondly, when I wake up in the morning (especially in the summer) my feet are often a little swollen from the heat, and they always feel better when I soak them for a few minutes in cold water. They feel better in my shoes, and I feel more energetic. Do I sound like an old woman or what? Pretty soon I'm probably going to start wearing sneakers to church, with white socks over my support hose.

Red said...

it is the concrete jungle u live in that does it. What Donnie is telling you is basically the same as what your doing with the liniment stuff. I love that yellow bottle! It has astringent more then one injury on my old body and more then one pulled muscle on my horses. When Molly broke her foot they had us to the hot water/ ice thing. She wouldn't stop complaining so I got me that yeller stuff out and ... pooof