I woke up last Monday unable to move my right ankle. It wasn't just stiff, it hurt. It was a very familiar feeling -- something I've had happen several times over the past few years. I'm not exactly sure what is happening inside the ankle, but it feels as if a bone has moved out of place, creating the same type of pain I have experienced after dislocating my ankle (of which has happened several times to both of my ankles).
Whenever this "micro-dislocation" has happened in the past, I was simply sitting down in a chair with my feet relaxed. Suddenly I would feel extreme pain in my ankle, as if it was slipping out. The pain wouldn't stop right away but would continue, even after I take pressure off the foot. I would quickly "push" it back into position disregarding the extreme pain, and after hearing a few clicks the pain would instantly subside. I tried this same technique after waking up last week, but it didn't work.
For the first few days, I had to limp around. It was too painful to walk normally. Climbing stairs felt awkward. After moving around for a few days with a dysfunctional ankle, my knee and hip started to suffer as well, since those joints were not being used properly. By Thursday, my ankle had become quite swollen. So, I iced it every morning after that and by Saturday the swelling was gone.
I forced myself to try and walk normally, but the pain was hard to ignore. I stretched it several times a day, but it felt as if there was something more than stiffness causing the pain. By Sunday evening, I was starting to wonder if I should have a doctor look at it.
This Monday morning I woke up and to my amazement, my ankle had returned to normal. I tried stretching it in several different directions which had caused extreme pain all week and I wasn't able to recreate any pain! Exactly one week: I woke up last Monday morning with extreme pain, one week went by, and then I woke up yesterday to discover the pain gone. I don't know how else to describe this other than a "micro-dislocation".
The whole week I was telling myself how I will start, and stick to, a regular exercise routine as soon as my ankle gets better. I didn't realize how fortunate I was until I lost the functionality of what I took for granted. What better wake up message than to be crippled for one week and then just as quickly be given another chance.