Assessment and Treatment of Ankle Sprains at CCRC

 

    To the publics eye it may seem as though Chiropractic Physicians only treat the spine which is a fair assumption concerning the professions PR department over the last 100 some odd years.  Still today there is a large number of those in our profession who only focus on the spine believing it to be the gateway to treating any ailment in the body.  Here at CCRC we focus on the person as a whole and realize the importance of anatomy and function of the entire body.  With that sentiment, I would like to discuss how we may go about treating a very common injury (specifically in the athletic world)…the lateral ankle sprain.

 

Anatomy

  There are three primary ligaments when speaking of lateral (outside) ankle sprains: the anterior (front) talofibular, the calcaneofibular, and posterior (back) talofibular ligaments.  These ligaments connect the fibula, talus, and calcaneus.  Under normal circumstances these ligaments check motion and help control the movement of these bones during activity.  

    In the instance of a lateral ankle sprain, any number of these ligaments may be stretched and/or damaged (most commonly the anterior talofibular ligament).  The motions often at fault are plantar flexion and inversion (think toes down and in).  When this motion occurs under load, at a high velocity, and not under control a sprain of the aforementioned ligaments may occur.

 

So what can CCRC do for you when this happens?

 

    Initial care of lateral ankle sprains is often rest to allow the swelling of the ankle to decrease.  While this approach works fine, our goal is to get you back to doing what you love sooner and better.  To achieve this we have a few tools at our disposal…

 

  • Dry Needling

    • I’ve always said “I would needle an ankle sprain as it walks off the field if I could”.  Most commonly the pain felt after an ankle sprain is from the inflammation that occurs, while this is a very necessary component to healing dry needling may help this function of the body and assist in the exit of inflammatory by-products.

  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

    • Using these stainless steel tools, we are able to help decrease inflammation and swelling by improving the fluid dynamics around the ankle.  Using long continuous strokes we can begin to literally push the swelling up and out of the ankle.

 

    As we begin to assist in the inflammatory process, we can use tape to do a number of tasks depending on what stage of the rehabilitation we are in…

 

  • Dynamic Taping

    • This type of tape is built to help with load management.  Due to the tapes high elasticity and durability, we can assist in ‘dampening’ motions that may otherwise be harmful for the healing ligaments.  This tape specifically can be worn by the individual for days at a time.

  • Athletic Taping

    • This type of tape, commonly seen worn by athletes, is used for short duration activity.  Being more rigid than dynamic tape, this application can be used to limit as much motion as possible.

 

    While all of the above therapies are passive in nature, we still need to talk about the most important aspect of rehabilitation and that is the active exercise component…

 

  • Mulligan Mobilization With Movement

    • Dr. Muse has been trained in this technique which focuses on providing the patient with 100% pain-free movement by way of mobilizations.  Very often a gentle mobilization of the fibula (bone that all of the ligaments mentioned above attach to) can decrease the symptoms fully.  To make sure that the changes last past your visit, specific taping may be used to ‘hold’ the mobilization.

  • Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization

    • All of the doctors at CCRC are trained in this technique.  There are countless studies showing that there are profound neurological changes after an acute injury such as this.  The role that DNS plays is to restore function and strengthen the affected joints in the prescribed exercise.

 

    This by no means is a comprehensive list of services we can supply for this injury but these are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal.  If you have any questions about how we might be able to help you or someone you may know with a lateral ankle sprain, please feel free to reach us.