Dry Needling for Ankle Injuries

ankle pain dry needlingAthletes often visit our Layton physical therapy office dealing with ankle pain. Ankle pain occurs for a variety of reasons from a simple walk to spraining the ankle while playing sports. Our team at Layton Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine works hard to bring patients the latest treatments to reduce pain and restore motion. Dry needling for ankle injuries is one of the procedures we use for patients seeking alternatives to surgery.

Common Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains are one of the most common athletic injuries accounting for 15-30% of all sports-related injuries. We treat patients with ankle injuries who are just doing daily activities and take a misstep and injure their ankle. The ligaments are needed to stabilize joints and prevent excessive motion. When ankle sprains occur, it moves the ankle beyond its normal range of motion, causing the force to be applied to the joint and thereby damaging the ligament. A damaged ligament can lead to inflammation, swelling, and bruising around the joint.

Symptoms of Ankle Injury

If you have an ankle injury, it is important to have it checked out to determine the extent of the damage. Here are some common symptoms to look for in an ankle injury:

  • Inability to bear weight on the ankle
  • Pain surrounding the ankle, which could range from moderate to severe
  • Decrease range of motion
  • Bruising
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Instability of the ankle

How Can Dry Needling Help Ankle Injuries?

Come to our Layton physical therapy office to discuss dry needling for your ankle injury. We find that dry needling is one of the best non-invasive treatment methods to heal the ankle and to improve range of motion. The severity of the injury will determine how many dry needling treatments are needed to reduce pain and restore motion to the ankle.

Failure to receive proper treatment for an ankle injury can lead to long-term negative effects such as long-term pain, decreased range of motion, and chronic instability. Up to 80% of people who sprain an ankle will re-sprain it due to inadequate rehabilitation from a previous ankle injury.

Dry needling works by stimulating the blood flow to the ankle, allowing the body’s natural receptors to begin the healing process. Dr. Alan Kerbs is certified in the practice of dry needling and has vast knowledge of the anatomy of the body. Using the fine filament needles, Dr. Kerbs will gently insert them into the correct trigger points to stimulate blood flow. Depending upon the extent of your injury, you could end up with 5-20 needles or more.

It is important to note that dry needling does not include medication. Dry needling is used to target relief in specific areas of the body. Patients report feeling minimal discomfort during the procedure, most of the time the only pain comes from the muscle itself when it contracts before eventually releasing. Twitches in the muscle are a good sign as it shows us the trigger point has been hit. Generally, there will be mild soreness in the ankle for up to 48 hours as the body heals itself.

Dry Needling and Running Injuries

In 2010, a report by Nichola Osborne and Ian Gaff found dry needling to be effective treatment for elite volleyball players dealing with multiple injuries over the course of four months. The dry needling treatments helped to deactivate trigger points in the muscle and allowed the patients to regain motion in the joints.

If you would like to learn more about dry needling, or you would like to see if it can improve problems with your ankle injury, contact Layton Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine today!