Proper Treatment for Ankle Sprains

By | September 8, 2016

Recent studies have shown that one tenth of all emergency department visits are attributed to injury of the ankle. Most of these injuries are simple sprains. Common treatment for acute ankle sprains involves the practice of RICE therapy. Patients are first instructed to rest the ankle. Next, they are told to ice the area for 20 minute sessions. Then, the ankle is wrapped in compression bandages. Jones compression dressing uses alternating layers of compression bandages and elastic bandages. Finally, the patient elevates the ankle. Ibuprofen can be prescribed as a pain killer. If the patient is intolerant to aspirin, a substitute like acetaminophen can be provided.

RICE therapy is a short term solution; it does not provide long term care. It simply serves as damage control for the initial injury. Future injury prevention is crucial. Approximately 25{0ad59209ba3ce7f48e71d4a0dc628eee9b107ea7079661ded2b3bda89b047a8b} to 40{0ad59209ba3ce7f48e71d4a0dc628eee9b107ea7079661ded2b3bda89b047a8b} of ankle sprains are recurrent injuries. When the initial injury receives improper treatment, future ankle damage is likely to lead to either temporary or permanent disability. Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is one possible solution to this problem.

This treatment provides care on an individual level. The treatment each patient receives is entirely unique to their particular injury. The osteopath physician assesses the joint and surrounding muscles. They then decide which soft tissue techniques would prove most effective. Sessions are brief, lasting only 10-20 minutes. Several studies show that these treatments lower pain levels and greatly improve the patient’s overall range of motion.

There are a number of soft tissue treatments. Osteopaths analyze the relationship of the bones from the toe to the ankle. They then decide which region requires the most work and attention. This system gives each patient a unique treatment. Instead of generic care, the patient receives care that will be most beneficial to their individual situation. Soft tissue is only one of several approaches to this therapy. Clinicians can also use muscle energy and strain/counter strain treatments. Pain reduction can be achieved by a process called lymphatic drainage. When fluid forms around the joints, the pain level increases and mobility greatly decreases.

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Ankle sprains are serious injuries that require proper treatment. Clinicians strive to ensure proper function of the ankle, increase the range of motion, and reduce the amount of fluid that builds up around the joint. Brief OMT sessions reduce swelling and decrease the level of pain. Even a single OMT treatment in the emergency department can dramatically improve acute ankle injury recovery.

Ankle injuries are not to be thought of lightly. Even a slight sprain should receive medical attention. If injuries go untreated, proper healing may never occur, leading to permanent disability. Fortunately, treatment is readily available. RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) therapy and a quick session with an osteopath physician can reduce pain and shorten recovery time. Osteopath therapy also reduces the risk of future ankle injury.

Andrew Mitchell, editor of Osteopath Network, writes articles about cranial osteopathy, back pain, neck pain and soft tissue injuries. If you are looking for a London osteopath or for an osteopath in the UK please visit his website.

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