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When Should I see a Chiropractor for Ankle Pain?

By Sara Butler

Ankle Pain

You don’t have to be a professional athlete, or even a weekend warrior, to experience ankle pain. The ankle is a complex joint that has a big job, and ankle pain is a common problem for many people. The real question is when do you seek help from your chiropractor for that ankle pain?

Unaddressed pain in the ankle can lead to a variety of much larger issues, such as chronic pain, imbalances, and even disability. The question isn’t really when you should see a chiropractor for ankle pain, but why it’s important to do so as soon as possible.

Does a Chiropractor Work on the Foot and Ankle?

Although chiropractors are widely known for treatment of the spine, what many people don’t realize is that they care for the whole body, including the ankle or foot. After all, every joint contributes to the body working as a well-oiled machine. When something is amiss, then the body simply can’t function optimally. That makes ankles and ankle pain well within the purview of any experienced chiropractor.

The neuromusculoskeletal system is the main focus of chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors are highly trained to evaluate the entire body for dysfunctions, then address these dysfunctions with natural, hands-on therapies and a treatment plan.

What Can Cause Ankle Pain?

Many people experience ankle pain due to injury, such as a sprain or strain. While those are very common injuries that lead to ankle pain, they’re not the only culprit. Some other common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Broken bones
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • Bunions or flat feet
  • Poor footwear choices
  • Biomechanical issues involving the ankle or other areas such as the hip or knee
  • Muscle strain
  • Achilles tendonitis

Every case of ankle pain is different, which is why it’s so crucial to have any type of pain you experience brought to the attention of your chiropractor. Remember, pain isn’t a normal state of the body, it’s the signal that something is wrong. So, if you’re experiencing pain, listen to what your body is trying to say -- and if you need an interpreter, then the chiropractor is there to help provide treatment for ankle pain.

What Are Strained and Sprained Ankles?

Ankle sprains and strains are among the most common types of injuries to the ankle joints, but what does it really mean to strain or sprain your ankle? Is there a difference?

When the ankle is sprained, it means that the ligaments -- which are the tissue bands connecting the bones of the joint together -- have been torn or overstretched. A strain is similar, but it affects the tendons and muscles of the joint in the tearing or overstretching, not the ligaments.

The symptoms of strains and sprains are very similar, which is why many people use the terms interchangeably. Both can cause swelling, reduced flexibility, pain in the joint, and difficulty taking the joint through its full range of motion.

The chiropractor determines if you’re suffering from an ankle sprain or strain by ruling out other causes of your symptoms and conducting a physical exam. Then, they can work with you on a treatment plan to address your symptoms and assist your joint in healing.

What’s the Risk of Leaving Ankle Pain Unattended?

Ankle injury and pain need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional as soon as possible if you have symptoms that don’t get better within a day or two from a combination of rest and proper care, such as icing the area.

If your symptoms persist and you fail to have them assessed, then it can cause bigger problems. Untreated ankle sprains and strains, for example, can lead later to issues with arthritis, chronic inflammation, and even degenerative changes within the ankle joint itself. Additionally, pain in the ankle can reduce the range of motion and start to have an impact on other joints, such as the hips and knees. Eventually, it could even lead to lower back pain or hip pain.

When Should I See a Chiropractor for Ankle Pain?

When you feel pain in a joint such as your ankle, don’t delay in having it looked at by the chiropractor. The sooner the problem is addressed, the sooner treatment options can be presented and action taken to get you on the road to recovery and pain management.

What Do Chiropractors Do to Correct the Issue?

Meeting with your chiropractor to focus on treating your foot and ankle pain is the first step toward recovery. When you see the chiropractor, they will do an assessment of your ankle, as well as your entire body, to help them understand if there are underlying issues that may be contributing to your ankle pain. Based on what they find, there are several different steps they may take.

If they feel it’s necessary, they will perform hands-on chiropractic adjustments to your joints. In most cases, this can include the spine but also lower joints to maximize your body’s ability to heal itself.

They may also recommend exercises you can do to help improve your mobility, strength, and flexibility. Ice or heat therapy may also be recommended, as well as lifestyle changes they feel you may need to make to help you recover and begin to thrive.

Is it Dangerous to Adjust the Ankle?

If there is some sort of dysfunction in your ankle that is causing pain, then not having that dysfunction corrected can do a lot of damage. Chiropractic adjustments of joints, including the ankle, are known to be an effective approach to care for many patients.

Don’t simply try to walk off ankle pain. The pain you’re experiencing may be an indication of something more serious brewing beneath the surface, something easily detectable by the experienced and skilled chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.

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