Ankle sprains can happen to anyone. You may be walking off the beaten path or running on a paved alley in the park. You may step in the only little hole in the road or slip on a sheet of ice. The result is the same: you feel a sharp pain and you are no longer able to support your weight on a leg. Your ankle starts swelling and it is tender to the touch. At this point, you believe that all you can do is apply the RICE method (rest, ice, compress, elevate) and wait for two or more weeks until your ankle heals. However, chiropractors believe that a proactive approach to various types of ankle sprains is a better option.
How Serious Can Different Types of Ankle Sprains Be?
First of all, a chiropractor will want to evaluate the severity of your sprain. In most of the cases, you can start your chiropractic treatment right away. However, in more severe cases, the chiropractor will recommend further investigations, including an X-ray.
Ankle sprains are classified into three categories of severity:
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This is the least severe type of sprain. In this case, the ligaments are slightly stretched and the joint is only slightly misaligned. You may feel discomfort and stiffness when you try to run, jump or go up and down the stairs. You feel minimal pain and the ankle swells only a little bit.
Chiropractic care can speed up recovery after only a few treatment sessions.
A grade 2 ankle sprain is the most common type of injury that brings people to the ER and to a chiropractor’s practice. The ligament is partially ruptured, resulting in significant swelling and bruising. Walking is quite difficult, due to pain and inability to put weight in the ankle.
In this situation, chiropractic is recommended as an adjuvant to standard treatments to restore the torn ligaments and stabilize the ankle.
This is the most serious type of ankle sprain, resulting in complete tearing of the ligaments. Pain, swelling and bruising are severe, and the ankle is too unstable to use at all, even for slow walking.
This kind of injury requires a cast brace to be worn for 2-3 weeks to help stabilize the ankle and restore the ligaments. Surgery is needed only in very rare and extremely serious situations. After the removal of the cast, chiropractic care can help regain full mobility of the ankle.
How Do Chiropractors Treat Different Types of Ankle Sprains?
A chiropractor will start by determining which of the three types of ankle sprains described above you suffered. The treatment plan is tailored to suit both the type of injury and the patient’s level of tolerance to pain.
In some cases, the chiropractor will use specialized equipment that ensures a gentler type of adjustment and manipulation. However, the main approaches to chiropractic care for ankle sprain involves:
Chiropractic adjustments will ensure that your ankle is working perfectly, with every bone in its natural position. In some cases, after spending weeks in a cast, the ankle may be still slightly misaligned. It is important to correct this before further damage to the bones and ligaments is done by constant walking.
Massages help relax the muscles, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. All these are very helpful in reducing pain and swelling and allowing patients to heal without taking painkillers.
3. Exercising and Stretching
Various stretches and exercises help strengthen the muscles, and regain the full flexibility and mobility. The chiropractor will assist you during sessions and will also recommend simple exercises that you can safely do at home.
If you suffered an ankle sprain, chiropractic can speed up the recovery and allow you to heal without taking painkillers. Look in our online directory for a chiropractor near you and book the first appointment!