Ankle Sprains

Understanding Your Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are a very common injury and can recur frequently if not treated properly from the onset. Along with the ankle being affected after an injury, you may also develop other conditions like knee injuries and foot or back pain. Sports chiropractic care can be very beneficial to help not only your ankle but also any other issues that arise due to the ankle sprain.

41% of all sports related ankle sprains are basketball related (Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)

Your ankles are a very vulnerable area of the body and are prone to a number of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. The most common cause of ankle pain is an ankle sprain, and most sprains happen when an ankle is twisted during walking, running, jumping etc. A sprain is diagnosed as the cause of symptoms when there has been any type of injury to the ligament of the joint.

Ankle sprains are graded on a system based on the severity of injury. For example, Grade 1 and 2 ankle sprains can often be treated with physical therapy and sports chiropractic care while Grade 3 ankle sprains can require a surgical procedure.

The ankle joint is made up of three major bones that are held together with tendons and ligaments. While the ligaments attach the bones to each other, the tendons attach the muscles to the bones and allow movement in the ankle. An abnormal stretching force may cause a sprain. Usually, an ankle sprain occurs when there is injury to the ligament that connects the fibula (the front part of the ankle) to the talus bone (the outside area of the ankle).

In most cases, the foot is injured when it turns inward or is inverted. This may occur when incorrectly placing the foot while standing up or when running or walking. Stepping onto an uneven surface or twisting the ankle during a fall may also cause an ankle sprain. These injuries often occur while participating in sports activities.

    When an ankle sprain happens, there are a number of obvious symptoms:

  • Throbbing pain in the joint.
  • Swelling—causing by increased fluid in the tissues.
  • Redness and warmth may be caused by increased circulation to the area.

Ankle injuries can take a long time to recover so proper diagnosis and treatment is the key. Usually, if it is the first injury to the ankle, you can expect a 4-6 week recovery period and even longer on repeat injuries. If you leave the ankle untreated, you are more susceptible to have these repeat injuries.

What Else Can Be Affected After An Ankle Injury

When you have an ankle injury that is not treated other areas of your body can be affected as well. Most commonly you can expect to experience knee pain, back pain, your arches could collapse or you could experience foot pain. It is also common to have joint and ligament issues. In most cases if not treated properly, your ankle will become weak and unstable and not have the range of motion it had prior to your first injury. As you continue to further injure your ankle, your chances of developing more scar tissue also increase.

Sprained ankles have been estimated to constitute up to 30% of injuries seen in sports medicine clinics and are the most frequently seen musculoskeletal injury seen by primary care providers

Sports Chiropractors and treatment for Ankle Sprains

If you have had an injury to your ankle you can greatly benefit from sports chiropractic care for your ankle and any other areas of your body that have been affected due to the ankle injury. At DSM Spine+Sport, we use a variety of treatment methods including:

Lengthening of spasmed muscles.
After ankle ligaments are sprained the body responds by tightening the muscles around the area, especially the shin and calf. This is meant to act as a defense mechanism to protect the ankle from further damage, but becomes painful after some time. PIR stretching and ART are great for counteracting this problem.

Stimulation of tissue healing.
Certain soft tissue techniques have been shown to stimulate fibroblast activity increasing the rate of cartilage regeneration and healing in the damaged ligaments. This includes manual soft tissue mobilization and cross-friction massage.

Applying RockTape for functional support.
Traditional athletic tape simply compresses and restricts the ankle joints from moving and provides little healing benefit. RockTape has a variety of benefits including increased lymphatic drainage and reduced swelling, all while allowing your ankle to move naturally as it should, to heal correctly.

Therapeutic exercises for future injury prevention.
After an injury the ankle can be left weak and uncoordinated. Specific exercises are used to help strengthen the ankle’s stabilizing muscles and increase joint proprioception.

It is important to respond to symptoms as soon as possible. Neglecting to do so may result in a chronic instability in the ankle joint as well as recurring pain. If the pain is due to a trauma you need to have it evaluated and you will likely need an x-ray to check for a fracture. Pain often indicates that there is some kind of problem with the biomechanics of your motion.

We offer several ways to address such a problem ranging from specialized extremity adjusting to soft tissue therapy and rehabilitation. In addition to range-of-motion exercises, adjustment to the ankle joint may be used to promote the motion of the joint and to speed up the healing process.

Treatment of any ankle pain should begin with the common RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) therapy. So try to get off that sore foot and get some ice on it.

As Sports Chiropractors, we put a lot of focus on ankle injuries. We don’t usually treat many people who have just rolled their ankle once or twice. Once the ankle is sprained, the ligaments are more lax and the bones move out of place. As the ligaments heal, if the bones haven’t been returned to their normal position, their position will almost always lead to future ankle sprains.

If you have recently injured your ankle, or if you find yourself continually injuring your ankle over and over again, be sure to schedule an appointment online with us today to get the proper evaluation and diagnosis.