Chronic Ankle Sprains: Treatment for Rapid Recovery and Preventing Recurrence

Ankle sprains, well common, can be a huge set-back to getting around-especially for athletes. They are graded 1, 2, or 3 based on severity.

Grade 1 represents minute swelling, a little instability, and minimal change in range of motion (ROM).

Grade 2 indicates severe pain and instability that makes weight-bearing difficult.

Grade 3 shows complete functional loss with little to no ROM. This ankle sprain needs x-rays and often surgery.

The standard medical approach for grades 1 and 2 includes bracing the joint with tape or a splint, rest, ice, elevation, and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Tylenol or Aspirin). Included, would be weeks of rehabilitation with a physical therapist or athletic trainer. This is preferred only in the absence of a chiropractic applied kinesiologist.

Serious athletes are interested in getting better as quickly as possible and preventing recurrence. The cause of an ankle sprain is easy when considering contact sports-like when a person is pushed or tackled. Commonly, however, the ankle just “gives way,” without an external cause. This is usually due to a pre-existing sub-optimal muscle status. This is frequently seen when there is a miscommunication between the brain and the muscle. To summarize, the muscles were unable to secure the joint, so it folded the wrong way and the last line of defense (the ligaments) were stretched and torn. Many doctors are familiar with the concept of muscle inhibition, but few know how to fix it. They spend the patient’s time and money by immobilizing the joint and using weeks of physical therapy to gradually return the patient to activity. Some physical therapists may serendipitously help the inhibition pattern, but after weeks of treatment. This time delay can be a major set-back for athletic training, a great expense to the patient, not to mention the inconvenience. Unfortunately, the patient is often returned to regular activities with the ligaments healed, but without the muscle inhibition pattern resolved. Thus, they are prone for re-spraining the ankle.

A chiropractic applied kinesiologist can frequently return a sprained ankle patient to regular activities within one week-even if grade 2. Relieving the muscle inhibition pattern enables better stability using the body’s normal mechanisms rather than braces or tape. The natural pumping of the muscles also removes cellular debris and reduces swelling (edema). Taking a good Cod Liver Oil with EPA and DHA, as well as bioflavinoids will speed healing time, too. Chiropractic adjustments, orthopedic massage, acupressure/acupuncture and proper nutrition decreases pain and rapidly improves ankle function. For more information on professional applied kinesiology or to seek out an applied kinesiologist, visit the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) online.

Charles Leahy writes about training injuries and alternative healthcare. Learn more about applied kinesiolgoy and a great Glen Ellyn chiropractor.

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