Ankle Sprains and Trauma – What Herbs and Acupuncture Can Do

Nothing says summer like beach volleyball… but nothing says ANKLE SPRAIN like competitive sports on an uneven playing surface! Beach volleyball players are notorious for getting ankle injuries, but the good thing is that Traditional Chinese Medicine can easily help with both the acute and chronic stages of pain from the injuries!

In the acute stages of any ankle sprain or strain, there is redness, swelling and pain. You might think that the infamous RICE (rest, ice, and elevation) are the only things that can be done, but TCM can help greatly at this stage! In fact, it is better to treat the injury at this stage, because more than likely it will take fewer treatments if you see your acupuncturist at this point rather than waiting a few weeks. If you are worried about needling into a painful area, just know that needling is not the ONLY thing that we do! Your acupuncturist may employ the use of external herbal applications to expedite the healing process, cupping to relieve some of the pressure from excess swelling, and needling other parts of your body that are mirror images of the ankle, such as the wrist, or part of the ear to relieve pain.

After the acute stage, the redness and swelling have gone down, and pain often changes quality from sharp and stabbing to dull, boring, and achy. The good news is that even if you wait until this point to get treated, there is still a great chance that you can see results very quickly. It is much more likely that your TCM practitioner will needle into the affected area. There are many points on the foot and ankle, and several acupuncture meridians that cross this area is well, which is why your practitioner may also needle points that are further away on the body that will also be effective in relieving pain. External herbs are also an important part of the healing at this stage, so don’t be surprised if your acupuncturist sends you home with an herbal soak for your ankle, or a liniment to apply several times a day. Do your homework! Following instructions from your acupuncturist after treatment is essential to healing as quickly as possible! Many of these items can also be purchased online. Also, just because there is an EXTERNAL trauma don’t think that internal herbs wont help! There are many high quality herbal remedies used to heal tendons and strengthen at the same time! This combination of treatment can see results in 50% of the time of just using boots and ice (normal routine in western medicine). We are able to get basketball players back on the court from ankle rolls that surprise coaches and trainers!

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