I had cause to think a moment’s carelessness would ruin a skiing trip in a week’s thanks to a swollen ankle but a trip to the physiotherapist has saved the day.

I thoughtlessly stamped on a piece of wood on Christmas Eve while cutting some for the fire. Instead of breaking, the stick held firm and my foot bounced back off it. Thinking nothing of it, I worked on, but on Christmas Day I woke up all excited, only to find my ankle puffed up, stiff and unable to bear any weight.

Limping around with an ice pack during the holidays was bad enough, but I’d booked a skiing holiday in the New Year and was concerned I was going to have to cancel.

After a week, the swelling still hadn’t gone down and I was getting seriously worried, with only two weeks to go before I was due to fly; I prefer to avoid doctors but my thoughts turned desperately to medical advice.

Would a GP be able to sort out my swollen ankle?

I could get an appointment with a GP but what would they be able to do other than tell me it was swollen and I should rest it? Maybe they’d refer me to a physiotherapist.

So I decided to cut out the middleman and go straight to the physio in the hope that they could make sure there was nothing broken and might even do some massage or something, to loosen the joint up. So I got an emergency booking with Petersfield Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic and went to their new surgery in Liss.

Gerry O’Neill started with a visual examination and a few stretches before I was on the couch and she went to work.

Gerry spent 15 minutes manipulating the bones around my ankle, which not only felt great but was reassuring because she could confidently tell me nothing was broken.

Swollen joints that can persist

She explained that while there was no damage, sometimes swelling persists, which was causing discomfort by pressing in on the numerous bones around the ankle. She was also concerned that swelling would make it difficult for me to fit a ski boot properly.

Treatment for my sprained ankle

So, after more massage Gerry applied a bigger version of the Tens machine the midwives use, which put electrical impulses through my ankle to help speed up the healing process and reduce the swelling.

She advised me to give my ankle daily ice baths and regular rest and after a week I’m seeing the benefits.

So thanks to the reassuring and confident treatment I received from Petersfield Physio, it looks like I’ll be hitting the slopes next week after all. I just hope I won’t be having to visit Petersfield on my return with some new injuries. Thanks Gerry!

– Bill Young