Speedy ankle sprain recovery for a professional golfer
To show how we use the ASA MLS laser therapy in practice when treating people with soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains, we thought it’d be informative to tell you about this case study and the very quick pain and function improvements we got when implementing a laser therapy approach.
How bad is an ankle sprain?
A professional golfer that I’ve worked with for many years, sprained his ankle and went to A&E for an assessment. He was scanned and diagnosed with a Grade 2 ankle sprain. We checked on him afterwards and gave him a compression bandage; 24 hours after the injury, he hobbled into the clinic, supported by his good lady and in quite a lot of pain.
What do you need to do to heal an ankle injury?
The objectives on the first day were to reduce ankle pain and swelling through laser therapy and to improve balance, control, and strength through a holistic rehabilitation program.
What is the initial injury phase for an ankle injury?
The ankle was very swollen at the lateral malleolus (the bony bit that sticks out on the outside of the ankle!) with multiple pain points (8–9 out of 10) around the malleolus and anterior retinaculum. The movement was restricted pointing the toes away and towards the head and turning the foot in and out. Bruising was seen along the outside edge of the foot illustrating a lot of internal bleeding around the ankle injury.
Initially, we started with the ASA MSL laser therapy to scan the calf and lower leg, working on decreasing general swelling and improving lymphatic drainage. We then worked directly on the damaged ligaments while passively moving his foot to increase range of motion as the ankle could tolerate it.
We then moved on to the voodoo floss… 2 floss bands were used to relax the calf musculature and compress the ankle swelling. As the ankle could tolerate more movement, we used passive movement through a gradually increasing range of motion.
The laser therapy had significant improvements with the pain points going from 8–9 out of 10 to 2–3/10. The compression from the floss bands further reduced pain and swelling significantly. This is another classic example of our holistic healing approach at Core Oxford. We are specialist Osteotherapists in Oxford, however, our specialty lies in holistic healing and pain management specialists.
We then got the patient to do actively supported movement and move his foot and ankle through the improved range of motion. Once he felt comfortable with that we then got him to walk with support around the clinic until he felt steady enough on his feet to walk. As he was doing this we were looking for any instability, weakness, or increased pain but fortunately, there was none. He walked out of the clinic much happier than when he came in!
How do you heal an ankle sprain?
Over the next week, he had two more laser therapy and pain rehabilitation treatments. There were similar reductions in swelling and pain and we gradually increased the amount of resistance exercise and balance work completed at each session. This was combined with "homework" of contrast baths, balance work, and using compression when going for long walks.
In the second week he only came in for two treatments as the pain was significantly improved and the swelling was very mild. He continued his ankle sprain rehabilitation by using contrast baths, stability, and balance exercises multiple times a day over this week and reduced it to daily the following week.
The patient came in for final treatment in the third week which combined physical treatment to both calves and the ankle while going through his return to the usual ankle sprain rehabilitation protocol to be done at home.
He has made a recovery in a much reduced time and has returned successfully to his sport. It was great to see how effective the laser was at reducing swelling and pain so quickly after the initial injury. The patient was very happy to be out of pain and back to his sport so quickly.
While the laser was great at reducing pain and speeding up healing in the damaged areas, what was very noticeable was how dedicated he was to doing his rehabilitation work at home and staying patient in the first few weeks. We have noticed that many Osteopaths in Oxford and beyond have a tendency to take great pride in their work and this can lead to an ego development where Osteopaths in Oxford are less concerned with empowering their patients towards pain reduction through lifestyle changes but want to take all the credit and maintain a physical manipulation first approach.
This ankle sprain case study shows you how successful treatment of an ankle sprain uses a variety of different tools at different times and is most effective when there is a solid partnership between the patient and the therapist.
If you have any questions about this or if we can be of any help with something similar, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.