4 Chiropractic Treatments for Ankle Sprains

By: Dr. Stefanie Tropea, DC.

If you’re physically active, chances are you’ve rolled your ankle at least once in your life. Even if you’re not engaging in physical activity, walking on an uneven surface can result in a sprained ankle. The most common ankle injury is an inversion sprain. This happens when you roll your ankle outward, resulting in injury to the outside, or lateral, part of your ankle.

Ankle Sprain
Flexible elastic supportive orthopedic bandage isolated on white background, compression stabilizer ankle.

Chiropractic care can be effective in treating such ankle injuries. We use a variety of modalities to restore range of motion, increase strength, improve function, and prevent future injuries. Here are some examples:

  • Active Release Technique (ART):  All of the chiropractors here at Physio Logic are certified ART practitioners. We use this myofascial release technique to treat tight muscles and break up adhesions, or “kinks,” in the muscles. With respect to ankle sprains, the calf muscles – the gastrocnemius and the soleus – are often tight from overuse. We use them to walk, run, and jump, so it’s easy to overuse them. It’s important to keep these muscles healthy, especially if you engage in activities that involve a lot of running or jumping.
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM): We use this technique to break up any scar tissue in the muscles and ligaments affected by an ankle sprain. We use a special tool made of stainless steel to “scrape” the area in order to drive flood flow to it and promote healing. The anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) is the structure most commonly injured when you roll your ankle. This is a lateral ankle sprain, and it is the most common injury among athletes. As the structure heals, it begins to scar over. Scraping the affected area can help to mobilize the scar tissue and make the ligaments more pliable.
  • Rehabilitative Exercise: The goal here is to restore range of motion, strengthen, and improve proprioception, the mind-muscle connection. An easy exercise you can do on your own right away is drawing the alphabet with your foot. As pain and swelling start to subside, strengthening exercises are of utmost importance, especially for the peroneus muscle, the muscle on the outside of your lower leg. The weakness of this muscle is strongly associated with re-injuring your ankle.
  • Joint manipulation: The joints in the foot and ankle can become restricted after an ankle sprain. As chiropractors, we can adjust or mobilize these joints to restore proper motion.

Sports injuries can be debilitating, causing pain and limiting performance. Fortunately, chiropractic care plays a vital role in comprehensive sports injury rehabilitation. Chiropractors specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including sports injuries, utilizing a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of the injury.

Let’s explore how chiropractic care can help athletes recover from sports injuries and return to peak performance.

  1. Accurate Diagnosis and Treatment: Chiropractors have expertise in assessing sports injuries and providing accurate diagnoses. Through thorough evaluations, including physical examinations and imaging if necessary, chiropractors can identify the specific tissues and structures affected by the injury. This enables them to create personalized treatment plans that target the underlying issues and promote optimal healing.
  2. Pain Management: Pain is a common symptom of sports injuries, and chiropractic care offers effective pain management techniques. Chiropractors use various modalities such as spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and electrical stimulation to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. By addressing pain early in the rehabilitation process, athletes can regain comfort and focus on their recovery.
  3. Restoring Range of Motion and Function: Sports injuries often result in restricted range of motion and decreased functionality. Chiropractors employ techniques such as joint mobilization, stretching, and rehabilitative exercises to restore flexibility, strength, and range of motion. By targeting specific muscles, ligaments, and joints, chiropractic care helps athletes regain their full athletic potential.
  4. Injury Prevention: Chiropractic care goes beyond treating current injuries; it also focuses on preventing future injuries. Chiropractors assess biomechanical imbalances, postural issues, and movement patterns to identify potential risk factors. Through corrective exercises, ergonomic recommendations, and lifestyle modifications, chiropractors help athletes strengthen their bodies and reduce the risk of reinjury.
  5. Holistic Approach to Rehabilitation: Chiropractic care takes a holistic approach to sports injury rehabilitation. Chiropractors consider the interconnectedness of the body and its systems, addressing not only the physical aspects but also the mental and emotional well-being of athletes. They may incorporate techniques such as nutritional counseling, stress management, and lifestyle adjustments to support the overall healing process.
  6. Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals: Chiropractors work closely with other healthcare professionals involved in sports injury rehabilitation. They collaborate with athletic trainers, physical therapists, and orthopedic specialists to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to recovery. This interdisciplinary approach enhances the effectiveness of treatment and promotes optimal outcomes for athletes.

It’s important to get started on your road to recovery from an ankle sprain as soon as possible. Most people don’t report these injuries to their doctor, which can lead to chronic ankle problems in the future. Let us be part of your recovery! Reach out to us by phone or fill out the form below to get you started.

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