It’s common knowledge that sprained ankles usually take weeks to heal, and that they are very vulnerable to re-spraining after the initial injury. Sometime this is called a weak ankle.
What most don’t know, even most professionals, is that the bones of the ankle can actually be knocked out of alignment by the forces acting on it during the injury. The natural arches of the foot are formed by the 7 bones of the ankle and the metatarsals of the foot. The arches formed are similar to classic stone arches – each piece of the top of the arch fitting against each other in wedge shapes. When disturbed out of their normal alignment, one or more of these bones can then stick out and not be able to fall back in due to the nature of the other bones wedging it out. This is like a stone arch with one of it’s pieces sticking out too high: the integrity and strength of the structure is phenomenal when all are in line, but very vulnerable when out of line.
This is why a sprain can re-occur over and over again. The tendons and ligaments were stretched in the first injury, the bones were quite possibly out of line, and then the same movement happens and the bones cannot support the healing soft tissue. The re-injury isn’t always a new sprain, usually it’s the old one not really healed.
The techniques of bone alignment (sometimes called bonesetting) after acupuncture is the best remedy for sprains. The effect is immediate relief and a permanent solution or prevention of “weak ankle.”
The first, I treated a woman who was coming in for a shoulder pain. I saw a slight limp in her walk and asked her about that. “Oh that? I have a weak ankle.” She had stepped off a curb in her teens and it has been funny ever since. Since she was in for treatment anyway, I treated both shoulder and ankle, and performed the bonesetting techniques. She felt very different when she stood up. The next week, during her follow-up treatment, she told me something mindboggling. She told me that for the first time in 40 years (!) she was able to walk up and down stairs normally! She had been walking them one at a time for decades! I couldn’t believe how quickly that could transform. She continued for a couple more weeks on her shoulder, but her ankle continued to feel fine every time she came in!
An interesting case of sprain – the patient had sprained it 7 weeks ago, and she observed “swelling” of the inner foot. Besides it being rare to sprain the inner main arch, when I saw the foot, it was not swelling at all. The bones were so out of line over the top of the foot that they had crushed inward, raising the top of the foot. Amazing to see, and yet my training covered this contingency. I got to work, and after each session I could see that the raised parts of the foot were indeed flattening out. It was not an overnight cure, but it was true treatment. Not just medication for pain, and not just range of motion exercises to cure the “weakness” – this was actually treating the source of the problem so that the foot can be as good as new.
Third case – my own. I recently sprained my ankle running for a ball in tennis. It was odd because the foot just went over, I didn’t trip on anything. The pain was instant and sharp. As I moved the foot around, I could feel the arch was not in the right place. I was able to run lightly, so I played out the match. That night I needled myself and again the next night. No bruising occurred at all, though there was some swelling. I worked the bonesetting on myself, and within a week I was back on the courts with no pain. It was still 3 weeks before all the swelling disappeared, but immediate and frequent treatment was absolutely key in allowing me to continue to exercise… and to work!
If you or your loved ones experience a sprain, call me asap. It is so amazing to have an injury and not have to lose weeks with pain and limited mobility.