Ankle sprains occur when the foot is twisted or rolled beyond its usual range-of-motion, which can be as simple as a small misstep on an uneven surface. What happens is the ligaments connecting the ankle and foot are stretched beyond their elastic proportions, causing a tear with pending severity. The severities are broken down into grades determined by the amount of force impacted on the ligaments.
Grade 1: A low amount of force impacting the ankle causes a slight tear within the ligaments. One would typically experience minor swelling, stiffness (the inability to bend the foot), and tenderness when swollen. While stiffness can occur, it is possible to walk without any, or with a small amount of pain.
Grade 2: A greater amount of force applied to the ankle causes a larger, yet incomplete tear within the ligaments. Symptoms are identical to Grade 1 but amplified. Walking is considerably more difficult and painful and a splint might be beneficial for stability.
Grade 3: The force applied to the ankle causes a complete tear in the ligaments. The ankle is completely unstable and walking is likely impossible due to the ankle’s inability to support body weight. The pain is intense.
Treatment is determined after a physician’s proper diagnosis. An X-ray is sometimes necessary to rule out a broken bone, then the severity of the sprain is assessed based on swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Rehabilitation differs between sprain grades.
Grade 1: Refer to RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) when handling this grade. Ice throughout the day to ensure the swelling decreases and elevate at an angle where the ankle is above the chest. Resting, combined with compression wraps to immobilize and stabilize the ankle for support, are major at-home remedies.
Grade 2: The procedure is identical to Grade 1, but once again on a larger scale. More care should be taken with this injury as it is more severe. That translates to more time spent healing and increased proper rehabilitation.
Grade 3: Due to the severity of this injury, it is possible that permanent damage and ankle instability may occur. Normal RICE treatment will not be enough. It is typical that a brace or boot will be worn when healing, along with the possibility of surgery.
Addison Sports Clinic has had major success in treating Grade 1 and 2 ankle sprains by utilizing an array of treatments to properly restore and strengthen the injured ligaments.
Extremity Manipulation: This is a manual technique that applies high velocity, low amplitude thrusts, to the injured joint. The thrust works to restore movement by changing the pressure within the joint, resulting in improved motion and decreased pain in the ankle.
Soft Tissue Therapy: This is a clinical massage that works to restore blood flow and tissue integrity. The injured tissue is targeted and then massaged into a pain-free stretch. The treatment restores the stabilizer muscles and ligaments to lessen the likelihood of developing a weak ankle post-injury.
Microcurrent Therapy: Here, the injury and patient are assessed to create a completely individualized treatment so that healing is optimized. Microcurrent electrodes are placed over injured tissue to stimulate the growth of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s chemical energy source, at an extreme rate to increase blood flow so inflammation is reduced.
Cold Laser Therapy: During this procedure, different wavelengths and outputs of low-level (red and infrared) light are applied directly to the injured area. The light acts as a catalyst when the body tissue absorbs it, spurring the damaged cells to respond with a physiological reaction that promotes increased regeneration. Like Microcurrent therapy, Cold Laser increases the efficiency of the healing process.
The general treatment follows a schedule of six-to-eight sessions within the span of two-to-three weeks. With this schedule, patients will regain full ankle-function within one month’s time.
For additional information about our treatments, please schedule an appointment at our state-of-the-art facility by requesting a free consultation at our Kennesaw location today. Our professional staff strives to help you reach optimal results with your health goals.