How many of you have ever twisted an ankle, rested it for a few days, were careful with it for a few weeks, and then went on as if everything was great?
Sometimes that works out, but in most cases that ankle now has a far greater risk of getting re-injured in the future.
Ankle injuries are serious! They are the most common sports injury – 45% of all injuries are ankle sprains and over half never receive proper care. Ankle sprains also have the highest recurrence rate of any sports injury and cause the highest amount of subsequent chronic problems.
The ankle is a mobile joint located directly above our base of support (the foot) and even mild ankle sprains cause lasting tendon and ligament damage, loss of normal range of motion, muscle weakness, and altered neurological control.
These are lasting effects! The pain is gone, but the injury remains.
These lasting effects are important because over time they will cause chronic problems. People with a past history of an untreated ankle sprain tend to weigh more, have greater activity limitations, and more cardiovascular problems compared to people who never injured an ankle. This is because ankle sprains and ankle instability lead to significantly decreased physical activity across a lifetime – increasing the risk of developing a chronic disease (diabetes, cancer, heart disease). I’m sure that you all know somebody with a “bad ankle.” That bad ankle started as a mild ankle sprain that was never treated.
Getting proper treatment for an ankle sprain can prevent all these long-term problems.
Treatment should begin immediately – it’s never too early to start treating an injury. Initial treatment should focus on using nutritional supplements to reduce the inflammation that causes tissue damage and give the body the building blocks it needs to properly heal. Then, deep tissue massage is recommended to help eliminate debris and prevent the formation of scar tissue. Joint mobilization, range of motion exercises, and muscle strengthening are used to help restore the ankle to its pre-injury state with full strength and mobility. Finally, proprioceptive work (balance) will restore normal neurological control to help prevent re-injury. Sports chiropractic therapy is perfectly suited to provide all of these things.
If you ever sprain an ankle, I strongly encourage you to seek treatment immediately! Vicodin eliminates the pain, but the injury remains and creates effects that last a lifetime.