Sprained Ankle: How Can Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Help?
Ankle injuries account for a large portion of injuries in sport, depending on where you are in the world, it is reported that 50% to 80% of all sports injuries involve the ankle. An ankle sprain isn’t just reserved for our favourite NRL or NBA athletes, but are frequent in everyday life by anything from stopping and changing direction during activity, stepping on uneven ground or even a drunken stumble on the dance floor.
Using acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Village Remedies clinics in Sydney CBD and Balmain, our goal is to help support recovery and hopefully speed up the healing process, so you can get out of pain and back to doing what you love. We have a step-by-step assessment and treatment plan, with an exercise program to help you get back on your ankle as soon as possible.
In this article we’ll look at the different types of ankle injuries, how they are typically treated and where acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.
Types Of Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries are determined by the type of tissue that has been damaged - bone, ligament or tendon/muscle. When you come into the Village Remedies acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinics we will first check for any ‘red flags’ suggesting you need to check in with your doctor for imaging and possible immobilisation.
Although we can assist with your recovery and pain relief, any bone breaks, fractures or serious ligament or tendon tears will need to be checked by your doctor with imaging and the appropriate medical protocols followed.
Most ankle injuries will be either an ankle sprain where ligaments have been torn, and/or an ankle strain where tendon/muscle fibres are torn. Sprains and strains are graded according to the severity of the tissue damage: Grade 1 being 10% or less of the tissue torn, grade 2 being 10-90% torn and grade 3 being 90%+ torn or a full rupture of the tissue. Grade 1 injuries typically recover quickly with rest and the right treatment, however grade 2 and 3 injuries will need medical intervention and rehabilitation.
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine For Ankle Injuries
Once your ankle injury has been diagnosed we are able to support the healing of your ankle using acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and progressive rehabilitation exercises. The style of acupuncture we use is very safe, as we can use points well away from the site of pain to trigger your body’s natural healing processes. This means we can very safely treat your ankle without touching it and therefore not risking further injury or irritation.
Often your practitioner may also recommend Chinese herbal medicine to help support the healing and recovery process further. The formula would be tailored to you to not only support the healing process, but also to support your overall health - this may mean we also include herbs to support your sleep cycle, reduce the stress response, aid digestion, etc. With better overall health, your body is in a better state to recover and heal from injury. You could think of Chinese herbal medicine as a small dose of treatment each day. This isn’t recommended in all cases but we often find the combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine can really compound positive results.
In combination with the acupuncture and herbal medicine, we will have you start and progress through a series of mobility and strengthening exercises for the ankle. We will recommend stages of exercises working through varying levels of intensity, starting off very slow and as certain markers are met will continue to progress to more difficult routines until we can eventually return to normal activity. To see what the exercises and staging looks like, check out our client resource page here.
How Is Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Different?
At Village Remedies Acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinics we won’t just treat you as an sprained ankle, but will treat you as a whole person. We’ll ask about sleep, digestion, stress and look at the tongue and take the pulse to give us a better overall understanding of your health. We use this information to better formulate our treatment protocol and believe that if we’re able to improve your sleep, digestion and stimulate your parasympathetic healing state, we will not only assist with the healing and recovery of the ankle but your life in general.
If you’d like some more information on how we approach treating ankle injuries including more detail on our step by step process which includes videos on exercises, acupressure to help with healing and pain relief and helpful diagnostic tools click here.