Most ankle sprains are inversion sprains where the foot is stationary as the body moves to the outside or laterally causing the ankle to invert. As the ankle is inverted, the Talus bone is forced superior and jammed into the ankle joint. Many of the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are torn or disrupted.
Many times when we sprain our ankle, we are carrying a load in our arms and are not watching where we are going and step on something that is not level. As you step on the area that is not level, the ankle is not ready for the abnormal pressures and will mis-align from the normal walking gait allowing the ankle to sprain.
I find in my practice when a patient presents with a sprained ankle, they heal much faster when the Talus is adjusted moving it towards the bottom of the foot. This is done with a regular Chiropractic adjustment of the ankle. When the Talus is in a better position, the ankle will heal much faster.
After a significant sprain of the ankle, it is important to apply RICE. Rest, ice, constriction, elevation. Ice is best for the first 72 hours. Rap the foot with an ace bandage and elevate it as much as possible to help diminish swelling.
After 72 hours, stretching the ankle in all ranges of motion is important. This is done by spelling the ABC’s with your foot. Make significant movement of your foot as you spell the ABC’s and this will take the ankle through all of the ranges. Move your foot to the end ranges without causing pain for the first few weeks, then as you are able push harder as you get to the end ranges. This will help realign the fibers of the ligaments from cross fibers to fibers that are aligned along the direction of the ligaments.
Take a supplement we carry called Motility to help rebuild the ligaments, tendons, muscles and bone. You can also take Baxaprin, a natural pain and anti-inflammatory. Use a ankle brace you can purchase from your local pharmacy when you are more active such as sports etc.
How to Treat an Ankle Sprain
Hi, my name is Dr. Troy Giles. I am a doctor of Chiropractic and a Natural Internist. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ankle sprains. As I was taking some garbage out I had a big box here on my back porch. Well, in fact, lets just take a field trip so you can see what I did, because I was not happy. So I have this big box. First off, don’t carry a box when you can’t see what you are doing. As I came off my back porch today…we are getting ready for a little bit of a storm here in Utah…I stepped down and I missed this step right here. As I hit it, my leg, my ankle fell off and I lit on this inverting my ankle and that is a little bit sore right there. Luckily, with that kind of fall, I could have easily broken my ankle. So as I am laying right here in the street, I am thinking “I’ve got an idea for my video today.” So ankle sprains. So ankle sprains usually are inverting, an inversion ankle sprain. Inversion means that your ankle drops like this and usually goes out. Why don’t I use the other ankle. It usually goes here. So that it an inversion sprain. Rarely are they eversions, this way. It is an inversion. So all of the ligaments and tendons are pulled all along the outside of your ankle this way and up into the top. But we usually find is that the talus, which is the bone in the top part of the ankle gets jammed up into the ankle. So I have got people that come in, who are wearing boots, they have seen the orthopedist, the podiatrist. They have seen their physical therapist. Still after months are unable to walk or put full pressure on their ankle. One in particular was a young lady, who had been, she was playing basketball and inverted, and two months later came in and said “you know, this is my last resort, what do you think?” I said well lets take it off and examine. The x-rays were negative, she had done all of the work, MRI’s were negative. She had had a really good sprain, but her talus had jammed up inside. I don’t really have a picture of the talus, but the talus sits roughly right here okay? That is at the top part of my ankle, right here. So what happens is as you invert your ankle here, the pressure pushes the talus up. Its superior dislocates it or subluxates it where the talus, the bone right here comes up towards this, the ankle. So what we do as doctors of chiropractic, is we have the patient take off their shoe and we will put our fingers across this area, across the talus and the patient is actually laying down on the table. When my good buddy was just here, I should have had him do this, but I wasn’t thinking. In this horizontal position, that my legs are in, we take a contact, right here above the talus. Now picture my leg here okay? My foot is still here. Here is my foot coming up. We take that talus and do a little bit of distraction and then we give it a little bit of a yank, pulling down, like this. What that will do is take the talus and bring it out of that mount position. Now, my ankle, and I am so happy with this, I have pretty good range of motion, I thought for sure I , I had messed it up because it was quite sore. But see that happened about a half hour ago, so it was a minimal sprain, but I thought I messed it up in the very beginning, because it hurt like a son-of-a-gun. So I am laying there in the street, you know may legs are up in the, and I am kind of doing one of these, and I am thinking “oh man, I hope somebody doesn’t drive by”. As soon as I got up and got the box and a truck drove by, but it is so common. Once you do invert it or pull it, you have the preponderance to do that again. The likelihood of doing that over and over. So you get chronic ankle sprains in those ligaments and tendons keep getting pulled. So we want to do is set the talus first, number one. Number two, and I don’t have my glasses, we want to do motility. Motility is a supplement that helps to repair ligaments, tendons, discs, muscles, bones. This is a repair of tissue of our joints. So we want to give you specific nutrients to help repair the joint. Then we want to adjust it as needed, make sure that not just the talus is adjusted, but that all twenty, is it 23 or 28? I can’t remember. I think it is 23 bones of the foot, making sure that all the joints are moving, because after an inversion sprain, your muscles will spasm up and mis-align and kind of chronically keep it out of alignment. So we want to make sure all of the joints are moving well too. Oft time with an inversion sprain the doctor will put you into a boot. I just wish that the soles of the boots weren’t so thick, because usually there is a good thick, you know this much of a sole, on the bottom of the plastic boots. If your doctor does put you into a boot. Ask them if there is a way you can it in some kind of a shoe or something that would level it, so you don’t walk around un-level for six weeks, because your messing your knees and your low back up. So we are not thinking about walking around pole vaulting higher on that. As far as rehabilitation, you want to stretch your ankle. You want to actually do the ABC’s. Point and say A, here is a B. Here’s C. Here’s D. Here’s E. So you spell the ABC’s with your foot. That will help stretch it. As you feel like you can, stretch it towards the end range of motion, until you start to, just start to sense pain and then back off. You can do this more and more throughout, you know when you get off to like two weeks, three weeks, you can be more aggressive with it and do a lot more stretching, so that the lines of the ligaments will, usually when a scar tissue lays down, it lays down like this, haphazard. We want to get it to where it is stretched like this. We do that by stretching. So if I have a spider web on that side of my ankle, if I invert it. We will do it again on this side. If I invert it, it will be like stretching the cross fibers and these guys are going to break allowing the lines, or orientation of the ligament to heal along those lines. That makes for a stronger ankle. Of course, basketball players, football players, you know make sure your getting your ankles wrapped. Of course your coaches and your trainers will do that for you. It is really vitally important to get that adjusted. Most chiropractors know how to adjust extremities and 99 percent of us do. You really can’t go wrong with an extremity adjustment, getting that back into position. If you are interested in the motility and repairing of the tissues, you can call here to the office and we can get anything for you.