Ankle Sprains – the result of damage to the ligaments of your ankle when they get very irritated, torn to various degrees or you simply over stretch them aka you rolled your ankle over and now it hurts like hell…
How many times have you rolled your ankles? If you’re like me, growing up playing sports, wearing heels, or simply not paying attention to hidden pot holes, etc. You probably have sprained an ankle or both at some point in your life. So how did you treat it and how quick was your recovery?
About a month ago I sprained my right ankle over my lunch break and as a Chiropractor, that is NOT helpful for business. Not only was I unable to take my own advice of staying off my ankle or taking time off work, as several patients pointed out, but also it is one of the busiest months for me in my practice and personal life. In order to keep up with commitments and my own schedule I was able to cut back on some work days to half days with appointments spread out and make sure to book treatments for myself. Yes, I have my own team of health care providers who I see when I need, especially when injured.
This is what I did to make sure I was able to keep up with work with the least amount of pain possible and while giving the ankle the support it needed to heal.
- Medical Acupuncture treatments 1-2x/week
- Cold Laser therapy 2-3x/week
- Kinesotaping applications for lymphatic drainage and structural support, modified as improvements were made every 2-3 days.
- Alternating with ice and heat, either with packs/magic bags, or water baths with epsom salts.
- Using a supportive brace that kept the ankle in a slightly everted position but mostly neutral to avoid further irritation of the ligaments.
- Elevating and resting both my feet as often as possible, as the other foot was getting sore from all the limping.
- Most importantly, moving the ankle within a pain free range of motion to my tolerance daily, after heat application to prevent the joints from locking up too much.
- As the ankle got better and the sensitivity and bruising reduced, I was able to vary my treatment frequency and choice of treatment as required.
- Supplementing with a joint and ligament supplement, multi-vitamin/mineral and making sure I get lots of anti-oxidants and protein in my diet daily to speed up the healing process is also helping to dampen the amount of pain felt and speed up recovery.
- I also used a pain relief cream for muscle and joints by Arbonne, Rock Sauce and/or Medistik to ease the pain during the day or while sleeping.
It’s now been a month and it’s about 85% better and I am now in the rehab phase vs pain management. I still use a softer less rigid brace while at work or driving and continue to get treated 1-2x/week as there is still swelling, soreness, joint restriction and sudden movements are not pleasant.
I share this story with you to remind you that it is important to take care of your injuries and seek out care immediately to ensure a quick recovery and return to work. I still have another month or so before it’s completely healed but as it gets better, it is easy enough to forget to treat it and that is when I will be at a higher risk of re-injury, as would you with any injury that begins to feel better but still requires monitoring. When treating an injury or decided to get treatment, don’t be concerned with the costs associated with the treatment as much as the cost of not being able to work, enjoy what you want to do with your friends or family or the cost of having to treat it for a longer period of time later on, as it will require more treatment session if you wait too long. On occasion, what feels like a minor injury could also be more serious and should be properly evaluated by a qualified professional.
If you require a consult for an injury or want a suggestion on what to do to treat it at home while you wait for your appointment, please ask.
Dr. Shruti Sharma, DC