Many people are frustrated by persistent pain long after suffering an ankle sprain. In fact, almost 3 out of every 4 people who sprain their ankle continue to have pain 6 months later.Â Even worse, 4 out of every 5 people who have a sprain will experience another injury.
Manual therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered by the hands of your therapist.Â When delivered by a skilled therapist, it reduces pain, improves joint mobility, and restores normal walking and running patterns.
Manual Therapy and Exercise is a Proven Approach
A recent study tracked 74 people for 6 months after an ankle sprain.Â Half of these people performed a daily home exercise program.Â The other half received 8 sessions of manual therapy and exercise instruction by their physical therapist.
The group receiving manual therapy experienced 16% greater relief and 46% greater improvement in function.Â Also, athletes reported 22% greater confidence in their sport from receiving manual therapy.
3 Effective Manual Therapy Techniques for a Pain-Free Recovery from an Ankle Sprain
Physical therapists use clinical reasoning and their hands to apply pressure on muscles and manipulate joints.Â This restores movement and decreases pain caused by muscle spasms, muscle tension, and joint dysfunction.
During your treatment, therapeutic touch is applied in a skilled fashion.Â This calms or facilitates your body’s nervous system.Â Often, you experience an immediate decrease in pain, improved muscle function, and improved mobility.
Mobilization and manipulation consist of movements of joints and muscles. All of these treatments are pain-free.Â Below are 3 examples of ankle joint mobilizations that help restore joint mobility and decrease pain.
Manual therapy treatment usually lasts 15 to 20 minutes.Â Your therapist then prescribes 3 to 4 specific exercises targeting your unique problem.Â It is imperative that you perform these exercises at home.
See Your Physical Therapist for an Initial Evaluation
Your physical therapist must perform a detailed examination before performing any manual therapy treatment.Â All people with ankle sprains do not receive the same treatment.
Seeing your therapist soon after an ankle sprain will save you time and aggravation.Â The longer you wait the stiffer, slower, and weaker you become.Â Also, your brain is really good at compensating for how you move after an injury.Â You donâ€™t want to develop bad habits that are hard to break.
Call your physical therapist today and schedule an initial evaluation.