What would you do to a sprained ankle before applying Rest Ice Compression and Elevation?
If you had a chiropractor near by, adjust it.
I don’t know if I’ll ever truly forget being told to adjust a sprained ankle in chiropractic school. My first thought was “You gotta be kidding me!”. After much insistence, explanation, and clinical examples by my prof, I was a believer. When I adjusted my first freshly sprained ankle it took me far past belief to a deep knowing and fascination. It is incredible to watch the balloon of swelling deflate in front of your eyes!
Of course there are caveats, you must be aware of fractures and you must be confident and competent enough with your adjusting that you won’t damage the ligaments. This is perhaps where the most interesting part comes into play, because I have adjusted around fractures (not the broken bone itself) and I have definitely adjusted joints that have sprained ligaments with great success. The ability to adjust which joints of course varies from case to case.
The ideal time to get an adjustment into a sprained ankle is in the first few minutes. Unless you have a chiropractor working for your sports team or you’re like my friends and you do your sporting activities with a chiropractor, this timing isn’t always available. The next optimal time is in the days following the injury.
I get a variety of ankle sprains in my office. Ankle sprains may range from minor ‘regular’ ankle rolls/sprains to major ones to high-ankle sprains. Some people are walking fairly normally and some people are in an air cast and/or crutches. Adjustments and treatments are varied accordingly, though often times I will apply Kinesio Tape after adjusting. This particular tape can be used to support, restrict, or facilitate a joint/muscle/ligament or to facilitate a decrease in swelling and bruising.
The results? Minor sprains feel better much faster with a decreased impact on the rest of the body because you can avoid a lot of limping. With more severe sprains we tend to minimize the secondary compensations and pains of our injury while minimizing swelling. This means there is a tendency to get into our rehab sooner and more effectively and for some people to have better ankles after a thorough recovery.
If you have an ankle sprain, come into the office and I would be happy to help you out.
In case you were wondering, the pictures in this blog are all my own handy-work.