If you ever sprained an ankle badly without breaking it, it can be a painful experience with years of problems ahead if you don’t take the necessary steps to strengthen and rehabilitate it.
Rest, Ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)may help initially, but weight-bearing and strengthening regimens will make the difference between an ankle that is easily reinjured and one that is stable and resilient when you step on a crack or an uneven surface. Research supports movement and weight-bearing as soon as it is tolerated and splints or ace bandages when worn too long can actually make matters worse. It no longer supports the RICE protocol we have relied on for years, although, ice at the time of injury may be helpful for a short period of time.
Years ago, I sprained my right ankle very badly while working at a summer camp. I heard a loud pop and couldn’t walk on it for days. Many years of conditioning which included foot exercises, balancing regimens, jumping rope, and hiking with chiropractic manipulation of the joints of the foot prevented me from having a chronic problem, I never again have twisted or sprained that ankle. This may be partly due to a strong core (the midsection of the body) that will stabilize the ankle if I step on to something unstable. A holistic approach to ankle sprains should include a history of knee problems, hip, and even back problems since poor ankle and foot function will affect everything in your body.
Proper management of an ankle sprain should include chiropractic manipulation of the ankle, foot, and even the spine as this is affected by an ankle sprain after it has had a chance to heal for at least two weeks. The muscles and tissues surrounding the ankle also need care because they will also be strained. These tissues respond well to myofascial release a few weeks after the initial sprain as well. Also, exercise and weight-bearing should begin immediately and ankle bracing should be discontinued as soon as possible since it will make the ankle more difficult to rehabilitate.
Unlike the medical approach which uses a doctor to evaluate, a therapist to do protocols for the area, and possibly other specialists to evaluate the problem if it does not improve, a chiropractor will offer a simpler one-stop-shop approach to everything you need for a healthy functioning ankle. Simple is always better, can be much less costly, and be far more efficient.
Ankle rehab should be to restore the normal neurological function that is lost from the sprain as well as the muscular and fascial integrity necessary for ankle stability. This is why weight-bearing and free movement is essential to a speedy recovery and to prevent chronic problems that will affect your knee, back, shoulders, and neck years later.
The NY Times recently offered some good additional advice on ankle sprains. Check out the article below
How to Avoid (and Fix) a Bum Ankle
Ankle instability is often the result of nerve and ligament damage. These exercises can help get you back on, and stay on, your feet.
By Rachel Fairbank
May 2, 2022
When Chris Peterson sprained his ankle playing football in high school, he brushed it off as a minor injury. His ankle hurt for a couple days, but no one suggested he see a doctor, and soon enough, it felt better. “I got back to playing as soon as I could,” said Dr. Peterson, now a physical therapist at Washington University in St. Louis. However, although his ankle didn’t hurt, it just wasn’t the same afterward.
“I’d step wrong, and my ankle just wasn’t there,” which often led to falls, he said.
Sprained ankles are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries. Official estimates are that two million people in the U.S. sprain their ankle every year, but the real number is likely much higher, as many people never seek care for their injury.
Need help with an ankle injury or do you suspect your back and knee problems are resulting from an old injury. Book online here.