Treatment for Chronic Ankle Sprains « Exercise Bike Health
Treatment for Chronic Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are common and can be a severe set-back to daily ambulation, especially for the serious athlete. They are graded based on severity: 1, 2, or 3.
Grade 1 indicates minimal swelling, minimal instability, and little change in range of motion (ROM).
Grade 2 represents severe pain and instability that makes weight-bearing hard.
Grade 3 represents complete functional loss with little to no ROM. This grade of ankle sprain requires x-rays and possibly surgery.
Commonly, for a grade 1 or 2 sprain, the standard of care is taping and bracing the ankle for more stability, rest, elevation, and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Tylenol or Aspirin). One can expect weeks of physical therapy. I only recommend this as the standard of care when a chiropractic applied kinesiologist is unavailable.
For the serious athlete, getting better quickly is just as important as preventing recurrence. Being pushed or tackled can easily result in a sprain and disrupt the surrounding muscles, but frequently the ankle just “gives way,” without an external cause. In this circumstance, there was likely a pre-existing condition of suboptimal muscle function. This means the muscle doesn’t fire as strongly as when asked. It’s not a muscle strength issue, but a miscommunication between the muscle and the brain. In other words, the muscles failed to stabilize the ankle, it buckled, and the last line of defense (the ligaments) were stretched and torn. Medical doctors and orthopedists may be familiar with the concept of muscle inhibition, but few know how to fix it. So, most time and effort goes to healing the ligaments by immobilizing the joint. Physical therapists address muscle strength and sometimes serendipitously help with muscle inhibition, but often after weeks of treatment. This can be a huge training setback, an added inconvenience, and a greater expense for the patient. Frequently, the athlete is released since the ligaments have healed, but prone once more to re-injury because the muscle inhibition pattern remains.
It is not unreasonable for a chiropractic applied kinesiologist to facilitate return to normal activities within one week, even for a grade 2 sprain. Fixing the muscles gives better stability than braces or tape, and the natural pumping of the muscles flushes out cellular debris and lessens edema (swelling). It is advisable to take a good Cod Liver Oil containing EPA and DHA oils as well as bioflavinoids to speed healing time. Spinal and extremity adjustment, orthopedic massage, and acupuncture/acupressure with the proper nutrition will lessen pain, speed healing, and rapidly increase ankle function. For more information about applied kinesiology or to seek out a Professional Applied Kinesiologist, visit the International College of Applied Kinesiology online.
To find out more about fixing chronic ankle sprains, visit the Glen Ellyn chiropractor. Want to find out more about professional applied kinesiology, then check out applied kinesiolgoy.