Everyone either has done it or known someone who has done it. A misstep during sport, a slip or fall on a wet surface or maybe a big night out with a few too many drinks. The initial fall, the sharp pain then the swelling and bruising lasting for what seems to be weeks, and it seems as though once you have one, it comes back easier and more frequently. However, with proper chiropractic care to realign the joint and rehabilitation to strengthen and support the ankle, the risk that one injury becomes many can be minimised.
Ankle sprains and strains are very common, especially in the sporting population, and can become a chronic issue if not treated and supported. These injuries are most common when the ankle is rolled inwards and as such, the supporting ligaments of the outside of the ankle can be sprained or torn. Due to this, the injury can cause damage and weakness of the support of the ankle and can make it more prone to further injury due to instability of the joint. Naturally, the body uses the ankles as the base of support and as such, any major changes to the support effect the entire body. For example, picture the body as a skyscraper with two major support beams holding it steady, both made of bricks. If someone takes away some of the bricks from one side, but doesn’t change the weight being put on them, it puts more stress on the remaining bricks to hold the building steady. Repeated injury takes away more bricks from the support until it starts to look like a Jenga tower, with one brick holding the whole structure up until the smallest nudge sends it toppling over. And as anyone who has played Jenga can attest to, it is very hard to put bricks back into the tower once it is very unstable. The same is true for your body. If you try to put the supports back into the tower once it has lost them, it takes a lot of time and hard work to make sure that they don’t topple it.
It then stands to reason that making sure that the problem doesn’t progress further than the initial injury is the most effective way to prevent further injuries. Studies have shown that in patients with chronic ankle instability that 6 sessions of mobilisations over 3 weeks showed improvement in Range of Motion, balance and stability compared to those who received no treatment. These results were also maintained over testing 6 months later, implying that the treatment created long term stability and recovery even after the treatments had stopped. Here at Anderson Family Chiropractic in Mackay, we have a team of massage therapists and chiropractors which can use a range of techniques to ensure that one little slip doesn’t lead to the unstable Jenga tower in the future. So if you have a history of ankle pain, or just seem to always be rolling the same ankle over and over again, we welcome you to come and have a chat to our knowledgeable chiropractors for advice on how we may be able to help.
David Cruz-Díaz, Rafael Lomas Vega, Maria Catalina Osuna-Pérez, Fidel Hita-Contreras & Antonio Martínez-Amat (2015) Effects of joint mobilization on chronic ankle instability: a randomized controlled trial, Disability and Rehabilitation, 37:7, 601-610, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.935877