Ankle Sprain? We Treat That
Did you know that hands on manual physical therapy can help speed your recovery from an ankle sprain?
A recent research article in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) indicates that manual physical therapy combined with exercises is superior to exercises alone. The article is “Manual Physical Therapy and Exercise Versus Supervised Home Exercise in the Management of Patients with Inversion Ankle Sprain: A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trail” by Cleland et al in July 2013 JOSPT.
Each group of patients in this research study did identical exercises but the group of patients who also received hands on manual physical therapy techniques experienced statistically significant greater improvements in functional levels and pain reduction at 4 weeks which were maintained during follow up at 6 months. Additionally, the group of patients that only did exercises experienced almost double the rate of injury recurrence compared to the group that also received hands on manual physical therapy.
The exact mechanism of how manual therapy works in not fully understood but manual therapy is thought to restore range of motion to stiff or “stuck” joints and to reduce pain. With restored or improved range of motion of foot and ankle joints and less pain, the muscles of the foot and ankle are more capable of regaining strength. More rapid restoration of strength to the foot and ankle muscles assists in restoring balance and a more complete recovery.
Additionally, the JOSPT Clinical Practice Guidelines for Physical Therapy treatment of ankle ligament sprains (August 2013) rates manual therapy treatments as having strong evidence to support its use in treatment. Exercise and balance training without manual therapy has a weaker research supported endorsement for effective treatment if the injury is subacute or chronic (older).
With an acute (new) ankle sprains, cryotherapy (ice), early weight bearing as tolerated, hands on manual physical therapy, and exercise (range of motion, balance, strengthening) are all highly recommended along with external support or bracing as necessary.
If you have a new or older ankle injury OSI Physical Therapy can help you recover and help prevent recurrent injuries. Your Physical Therapist at OSI Physical Therapy will perform thorough exam and design an individually tailored treatment plan which will include hands on manual physical therapy, appropriate exercise, and education/advice based on their findings.
Link to JOSPT Perspective for patients: http://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.2013.0504
If you’re having any ankle pain and would like to find out what’s going feel free to schedule a free phone consultation. We’re here and ready to help you get back on your feet.