Ankle sprains; the importance of proper care and follow-up. Some advice from the NY Times.

Ankle sprains; the importance of proper care and follow-up. Some advice from the NY Times too.

Ankle sprains; most of us have experienced them. Perhaps you were playing a sport and came down on it improperly, or were running and stepped on a stone and the ankle turned in, or you were wearing high heel shoes and a misstep caused the ankle to turn in and sprain.

What you do after the sprain can mean either future sprains or perhaps body mechanics that will recover from ankle turns quickly minimizing or preventing damage.

One other factor is poor body mechanics that are inherited. These people typically have flat feet, tight legs and a compromised core (midsection) which causes them to slam their feet and heels into the ground which shortens the leg muscles, and tightens the surrounding myofascial. Usually, these people insist they have weak ankles and want to wear high top sneakers which help prevent the feet from turning in accidentally, even though the problems that are creating the weakness exist in their midsection and feet, with the ankle sprains and foot and calf pain being a secondary consequence. If this sounds like you, you may want to read Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain which is available on to understand why these problems exist and what you can do to improve the current problem.

If you do sprain your ankle, early motion is needed to assure better healing. If you cannot bear weight on it, ice baths are helpful with ranges of motion exercises until you can bear weight. Once the ankle begins to bear weight, balance boards are helpful to strengthen the ankle, as well as other balancing exercises to improve the response of the mechanoreceptors in the leg and ankle (send messages to the brain on where the ankle is placed as we walk). Chiropractic manipulation to the ankle a few weeks post-injury can also help as well as myofascial release since the joints often jam during a sprain and the myofascial (the connective tissue surrounding all muscles) will tighten and affect future rom of the ankle.

A proper rehab regimen can yield huge dividends because it will reduce the likelihood of future sprains.

Here is the article from the NY Times.

After a Sprain, Don’t Just Walk It Off



Whenever I see a woman walking (or trying to) in stilettos — skinny heels over 3 inches high — my first thought is, “There’s a sprained ankle waiting to happen.”

An estimated 28,000 ankle injuries occur daily in the United States, most of them through sporting activities, including jogging on uneven surfaces. But while no one suggests remaining sedentary to protect your ankles, experts wisely warn against purposely putting them at risk by wearing hazardous shoes or getting back in the game before an injured ankle has healed.

If you’ve ever thought, “Oh, it’s just a sprain,” read on. The latest information about ankle sprains, released in a position statement last month by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, clearly shows that ankle injuries should never be taken lightly and are too often mistreated or not treated at all.

The result is an ankle prone to prolonged discomfort, reinjury, chronic disability and early arthritis.

Ankle injuries are the most common mishap among sports participants, accounting for nearly half of all athletic injuries. According to the report by the trainers’ association, the highest incidence occurs in field hockey, followed by volleyball, football, basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, track and field, gymnastics and softball.

I was surprised that tennis did not make the list, since any sport that involves quick changes in direction leaves ankles especially vulnerable to unnatural twists. Other reasons for ankle injury among athletes include landing awkwardly from jumps, stepping on another athlete’s foot, trauma to the ankle when the heel lands during running, and stressing the foot when it is in a fixed position.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the new report is the fact that the most widely accepted treatment for an ankle sprain — rest, ice, compression and elevation, popularly called RICE — has yet to be shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials.

read more