Chiropractic Improves Healing of Recurrent Ankle Sprains

Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries reported by sports athletes, ranking number one in 24 specific sports categories such as basketball, football, volleyball, and soccer. Additionally, over 40 percent of ankle inversion sprain injuries result in chronic ankle instability, which means that treating this condition effectively is imperative to helping protect athletes from suffering any further injury. Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics suggests that one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to pair rehabilitation with chiropractic care.

In a study that took place at Durban University, 33 students between the ages of 18 and 45 were recruited based on their history of inversion sprains, their level of pain to the affected area, and whether or not they had suffered an ankle injury in the previous six weeks. Roughly, 54 percent of those that qualified were assigned to complete rehabilitation on their ankle via specific exercises, and the remainder engaged in both rehabilitative exercises and chiropractic, receiving high-velocity low-amplitude thrust-style manipulations by a trained professional.

Over the course of five weeks, both groups engaged in rehabilitation exercises every day. The group that received chiropractic care as well participated in 29 sessions of treatment, which were provided in 6-day increments with one day of rest in between. At the conclusion of the study, all subjects were assessed according to self-reported pain and joint palpation, which is when the area is manually assessed to determine range of motion and whether any restrictions exist.

Researchers found that the participants who engaged in both rehabilitation and chiropractic fared better with reduced pain and disability after just four weeks of treatment when compared to the subjects that received rehabilitation alone. So, if you have a recurrent ankle sprain and you'd like to treat it as quickly and effectively as possible, you might want to consider using both rehabilitation and chiropractic together as you'll likely get better results.

Lubbe D, Lakhani E, Brantingham JW, et al. Manipulative therapy and rehabilitation for recurrent ankle sprain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2014 Nov 6. S0161-4754(14)00204-8.