Published on October 10, 2013
For decades now we have hammered the mantra of RICE to everyone who gets an ankle sprain. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation is only effective if it is done in conjunction with a treatment that treats the nerves associated with the muscles of the ankle joint.
Although the RICE approach is good for treatment right after injury – there are much better options for treatment and resolution of ankle injuries.
What Happens During An Inversion Ankle Sprain?
Basically the foot gets folded under the ankle with the bottom of the foot facing your other ankle. Its the most common type of ankle sprain or injury. During this time the ligaments on the outside of your ankle and foot become stretched and the muscles stabilizing your heel become inhibited or shut off. This is why after an ankle sprain you don’t just have pain you have problems bearing weight – if the muscles weren’t shut off you would be able to bear weight more easily. So, RICE only focuses on the swelling and never addresses the muscles that need to be activated or ‘turned back on” for the injury to heal.
Therapies like ultrasound, ice baths and laser are limited in restoring the inhibited muscles.
What’s The Best Approach For Treating A Sprained Ankle?
Well there are many things you can do but I will share with you what gets me 100% results every time. FIRST: The best results occur if the patient comes in within 24 hours of the injury. If you wait even 3 or 4 days it will add 4-6 weeks to your rehab and treatment. I focus on restoring the inhibited muscles that support the ankle (sub-talar joint). I have created a sure-fire system that is able to pinpoint motor points (the point where the nerve comes in contact with the muscle) in muscles using easy to apply simple measuring tools. I easily locate the motor point of the tibialis posterior and peroneus longus which become inhibited during trauma and then I apply medical acupuncture to that region.
But additionally, very often muscles of the hip become inhibited or ‘shut off’ during an ankle sprain. I located these inhibitions using EXSTORE, which is a specialized assessment system I use on patients which allows me to find what muscles are not working within a couple of minutes – so I can quickly move on to treatment.
Here is a example of a case:
25 year old professional boxer acute inversion sprain:
The patient walked in on crutches from an injury that occurred about 18 hours prior. X-rays were normal. I used acupuncture and needled and stimulated the muscles around the ankle. I then hooked the needles up to low frequency stimulation (1-2hz) for a period of 12 minutes. Then I removed the tight bands and scar tissue from in the muscles around the ankle for about 4-5 minutes. The patient walked out without crutches and was almost 100%.
My assessment and treatment approach is research based and I’m lucky to get to practice it every week in my clinic. If you would like to learn more about the research or have questions for me please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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