Ankle sprains are the most common sports-related musculoskeletal injury and make up around 25% of sports injuries. Of those, an estimated 40% will progress to develop chronic functional ankle instability. This not only affects their athletic performance, but also affects the activities of their daily life. This is because the physical stresses from the initial injury can damage the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and mechanoreceptors. Because ankle proprioception is imperative for balance and ,those with chronic functional ankle instability show decreased levels of this as well as postural stability, it becomes even more important to seek treatment after your ankle injury.
How Electroacupuncture Can Help Your Ankle Injuries
Due to the damage to the ligaments and soft-tissues of the ankles (which are very high in density in pain-sensitive nerve fibers), your ankle will continue to be in pain for quite some time. Electroacupuncture does very well to calm down the pain conducting fibers to alleviate pain at the site of your injury.
Those that have suffered from ankle sprains usually will also mention how the muscles that move your ankle become much weaker, due to what’s called ‘arthogenic inhibition’, where the inflammation and pain signals from your ankle shuts off the nerves that power the muscles of your ankle reflexively to avoid further damage in the future. Electroacupuncture can also be used to stimulate these very same muscles to both reduce the amount of inhibition and aid in restoring them to their original strength.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that when your ankle is sprained, you also are causing injury to the nerves that are on the outside of your leg and ankle. These become stretched past their regular length when the ankle rolls over. Depending on the severity of the sprain, the fibular or peroneal nerves are damaged, reducing their functionality. Damage to these nerves leaves long term reductions in proprioception, sensation, and stability in the ankle- a huge part of the reason for a recurrence in ankle sprains.
Electroacupuncture of the fibularis and anterior leg muscles can help to restore the strength and function of these muscles so they perform the way that they should perform, both during and after your rehab process. Even though rehab includes both strength training and proprioception, re-injury rates are still high for those that have sprained their ankles. Electroacupuncture combined with rehab along with manual therapies has been found to work extremely well to help those who suffer from sprains (or multiple sprains) to get back to the things and sports that they love doing, taking much less time to get themselves back to performing levels.
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