How Chiropractic Care Helps Rehab Ankle Injuries
An ankle can be injured as glamorously as falling off a $400 platform stiletto heel, stepping off a Parisian curb, or as mundanely as tripping over a toy truck, or falling over a rock on your way to the mailbox. No matter the cause, ankle injuries are painful and problematic, and cause recurring problems if left untreated.
The poor ankle sure has it rough. It supports a person’s entire body weight, twists and turns many times a day, and maintains proper balance. This heavy responsibility takes its toll. Emergency rooms treat approximately one million patients ever year for ankle injuries.
Ankles are technically “the joint where the foot joins the leg.” In reality, there are more moving parts involved than that simplified definition allows. Multiple bones and two separate joints actually converge in the ankle area, which increases the chance of an ankle injury.
More than one injury commonly affects the ankle:
When you roll your ankle outward, the movement damages the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. This is a common sports injury and, unfortunately, once you have sprained your ankle it’s more likely to recur. Up to half of the people who suffer from a sprained ankle will sprain it again.
There are two tendons in the ankle that are commonly strained, usually overstretching from overuse or trauma.
This injury happens when one or more of the three bones in the ankle is injured. While less common than a sprain or strain, a fractured ankle may also involve damaged ligaments and require surgery.
Many instances of ankle injuries are avoidable. Be sure to wear proper shoes when exercising or participating in sports, avoid uneven walking surfaces, and keep stairways and floors in your home clear of clutter
And, ladies, avoid the really high heels. We know, we know, they are just so cute! 🙂
Even with ankle-protecting precautions, you still may end up on your rump in the grass nursing your swollen ankle. What should you do if you injure your ankle? There are several forms of treatment for an ankle injury depending on its severity.
Rest and ice: For mild injuries, stay off your ankle and use ice packs to reduce the swelling. Initially, rest allows the injured area to heal faster, but within a few days it is important to use the ankle, within your pain-tolerance.
Visit a doctor: If you experience severe pain, swelling, and are unable to put weight on your ankle, see a doctor, as some ankle injuries grow worse without treatment. Injuries may require a brace, cast, or even surgery.
See a chiropractor: Patients frequently see strongly positive results in ankle injuries from a series of chiropractic treatments. Chiropractors understand the way the ankle is built, and use chiropractic adjustments to reduce pain and inflammation and promote faster healing. Not only will your ankle be evaluated, but the knee and hip should also, as these may have been affected in the fall as well.
Exercise rehab: Once you are healed, it’s vital to build up the ankle’s strength to avoid re-injury. Your chiropractor can lay out an exercise routine that you can employ into your regular workouts that will improve your balance and increase mobility. Performing these moves helps dramatically decrease dealing with this again down the road.
Ankle injuries are common and, whether or not you maintain an active lifestyle, you may end up suffering from one. By visiting a chiropractor on the front end, you can better plan a course of treatment that will heal your ankle quickly, reduce the pain effectively, and minimize the chance of a recurrence.
Dr. Mark Strudwick is a third-generation chiropractor in Victoria, B.C.