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Treating Sprains Using A Chiropractor
While most people think of chiropractors for back and neck injuries, it is also possible to treat sprains using a chiropractor. The body tends to compensate for any injury or weakness, causing additional problems in areas that were previously healthy. A person may sprain their ankle and end up developing back pain because the body has slightly adjusted their walking stride.
A sprain occurs when a ligament or joint capsule is stretched beyond its normal range of motion. Severe sprains may even involve a tear in the ligament. The most common areas to suffer a sprain are the ankles, knees, wrists, and feet. This is different than a strain, which is a pulling or tearing in a muscle, not a ligament. Sprains are often caused by lifting heavy items, inadequate stretching or warmup before physical activity, or trauma that causes the joint to move out of position and overstretch the ligaments. These traumatic injuries are common in contact sports such as football and may also occur in non-contact sports where the person jumps and lands wrong, stretching the knee and ankle ligaments.
It can be a good idea to treat sprains using a chiropractor because they can help restore your body's overall balance. Staying balanced helps to prevent re-injuring the sprained ligament and also protects against future injuries to other parts of the body. Chiropractic adjustments are designed to maintain the proper range of motion and strength in all joints so there are no areas of significant weakness.
When treating a sprain, the chiropractor will first ice down the injured area to reduce swelling. Once the joint can be manipulated, he or she will then go through a series of easy stretches and range of motion exercises. The next step is to perform a chiropractic adjustment on the spine and the areas connecting it to the injured body part. For example, a sprained foot may require adjustments to the foot, knee, hip, pelvis, and spinal cord. This will ensure that your body is in the correct alignment so that the sprained ligament can heal properly.
The office visit is not all that is involved when you treat sprains using a chiropractor. After making the adjustments, they will give you a list of home exercises that should be done between appointments. The main emphasis is on core stability and balanced muscle strength. Once the sprained ligament is past the point of acute injury, the exercises will be crucial to the rehabilitation of the joint and the surrounding muscles and tendons.