Ankle Injury

Acupuncture for Ankle Sprains

Ankle injuries are a very common orthopaedic injury. Most ankle sprains heal with conservative treatments like RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression and elevation) however for many people that do not heal as quickly as expected the next step for treatment can be unclear. Whether its a sprain or fracture acupuncture is an important form of treatment to consider when recovering from an ankle injury. 

Have you suffered multiple ankle sprains? Do you roll your ankles easily? Is there some swelling that just won’t go away following an old ankle injury? Are you finding that your ankles feel weak and unsteady walking on uneven ground? If so – acupuncture might be the answer to address those new or old ankle injuries.

Why is my ankle taking so long to heal?

It isn’t uncommon to hear this question? A common misconception is that a broken ankle will heal slower than a sprain. The fact of the matter is a bone fracture usually takes six to eight weeks to heal, while a ligament sprain can take between three and six months to heal. The time difference in healing a bone versus a ligament all comes down to blood flow. Bones have a much better supply of blood to assist healing, whereas ligaments have a poor supply and naturally take longer to heal.

Acupuncture treatment for ankle instability

The most common cause of ongoing ankle instability is:

  • Inadequate rehabilitation, 
  • A sprain that has been left untreated,
  • repeat sprains on the same ankle 

Following an ankle sprain, it is recommended that you seek medical advice as soon as possible. Often what starts off as a simple grade 1 sprain can end up a severe grade 3 sprain if left untreated. This can lead to deactivation of the muscles that support the ankle and ongoing stability problems in the long-term. Acupuncture can help to stimulate these muscles and help them function at their optimal level again.

How does acupuncture benefit ankle pain?

Stimulation of acupuncture points can increase blood flow to the injured area and bring nourishment to the tissues to promote healing. Acupuncture is very effective in alleviating pain, improving the range of motion and decrease. A combination of acupuncture, moxibustion, electrical stimulation and Chinese liniments can be very effective for both acute and chronic ankle injuries.

How do I know when my ankle is healed? 

When it comes to ankle sprains, the key sign of healing is stability with use. Here are 5 signs that you haven’t fully recovered from your ankle injury.

  • Limited range of motion (dorsiflexion)
  • Unable to weight bare on the ankle confidently without pain 
  • Difficulty balancing on one leg with the sense that the ankle is going to give way 
  • Pain with running 
  • A general lack of confidence in the ankle
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