Lets face it – injuries, especially sports-related injuries, are inevitable. Whether it’s a torn rotator cuff muscle suffered while pitching or a sprained knee from ballet dancing, injuries are a part of being active. Rehabilitation, therefore, should also be active. I missed my entire junior year of football due to a sprained ankle that occurred during pre-season training. I was told to R.I.C.E and…well, that’s about it. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate, repeat. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate, repeat. I was following the athletic trainer’s orders and sat passively on the sideline with a bum ankle that never seemed to strengthen. I then spent the next season taping my ankles before every practice and game and wearing ankle braces over the tape.
It wasn’t until I read about Indianapolis Colts star Dwight Freeney rehabbing his sprained ankle 2 weeks before the 2010 Super Bowl with a chiropractor that I realized there was another way. As a chiropractor, I have been educated on the latest therapies and most effective protocols for treating all kinds of injuries. So when a patient came into our clinic on crutches with a sprained ankle, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our approach to injury rehabilitation.
Patient is a 40-year-old male with an inversion sprain that occurred while landing from a flying round house kick at taekwondo.
Treatment consisted of medical dry needling of the surrounding tissue with a TENs unit to decrease tension, soft tissue mobilization to remove muscular adhesions, joint centration for proper alignment and kinesiotaping to reduce swelling. This protocol was implemented twice a week for the first 2 weeks. After just one week, swelling was down, bruising had dissipated and mobility was returning.
After 4 visits the therapy shifted to exercises and treatments that promote joint motion and weight-bearing. A study by Linde et al. supports this approach – the study consisted of 150 patients with inversion sprains being treated with early motion and weight bearing exercises. After one month, 90% of patients demonstrated pain-free gait and 97% had increased work ability.
Within 8 visits, the patient’s issues had resolved and so the emphasis turned to preventative care and improving resilience through balance training.
At Integrated Health Solutions, we take an active approach to our patient’s injuries and pain with a primary focus on functionality. Our goal isn’t just to get you back on the field, its to make you the best version of you possible so that you can enjoy physical activity without fear of re-injury.
Content provided by Dr. Drew Hunt
- Linde F, Hvass I, Juergensen U, Madsen F. Early mobilizing treatment of ankle sprains: A clinical trial comparing three types of treatment. Scan J Sports Sci.1971;8:71-7