Treating Ankle Sprains Quickly and Effectively
Most Chicagoans participating in athletics throughout the year, whether it be running, playing basketball, soccer, or indoor/outdoor volleyball (to name a few), are susceptible to injury. These sports are especially prone to ankle injuries because of the rapid directional changes one goes through during a game. Most common ankle sprains affect the outer (lateral) side of the ankle, accountable for 95% of all ankle sprains (5% on the inner (medial) side of the ankle).
When these happen, your ankle/foot turns inward suddenly and causes immediate micro-tearing of the ligaments affecting the ankle movement. With outer ankle sprains, the most common ligament injured is the ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) followed by the CFL (calcaneofibular ligament). When an ankle sprain, one should have it evaluated to examine the extent of the injury by a sports certified chiropractor.
When you decide to have a sports chiropractor initially evaluate your ankle injury, it is important to treat this quickly. Grade I sprains (or micro-tear injuries) take 4-8 weeks to heal with consistent rehab and treatment; Grade II sprains (partial ligament tearing) take 8-12 weeks to heal and grade III can be either surgical or 12+ weeks to heal (if surgery is to be avoided). It is important to apply PRICE in the first 48-72 hours (pressure, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to reduce swelling and inflammation, but it is also important to improve movement, flexibility, and function of the injured ankle. Chiropractic manipulation to grade I and II ankle sprains will help in addition to beginning rehab exercises to strengthen the ligaments that support the ankle.
Once the acute phase of the injury ends (PRICE too), Active Release Techniques (ART) can be applied to help prevent scar tissue in the muscles and ligaments to allow for proper healing. Bringing together ART, ankle manipulation, rehab, and Kinesiotape to support the ankle with movement, one will recover faster and get back to playing sports much sooner. The sooner you attack your injury proactively, the less time you will miss from your sport/activity and the less likely the ankle is to re-aggravate.
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP
Lincoln Park Chiropractic 2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1 Chicago, IL 60614
www.lincolnparkchiropractic.com (773) 248-2790