Massage Therapy and Ankle Sprains
Following an initial ankle injury there is a risk of re-injury dependent on a combination of factors including, but not limited to: sensorimotor deficits and changes in ankle biomechanics. Massage therapists are uniquely suited to incorporate a number sensory-targeted rehabilitation strategies for patient with chronic ankle instability.
The most effective approach is a multi-modal rehabilitation strategy utilizing exercise (proprioceptive and strengthening) and manual therapy (plantar massage, joint mobilizations and neural mobilization) to enhance motor control in patients (Doherty et al. 2017, Plaza-Manzano et al. 2016).
Why Does Massage Therapy Work for Ankle Sprains?
The biopsychosocial model provides a practical framework for investigating the complex interplay between massage therapy and clinical outcomes. Which helps put into context the interconnected and multidirectional interaction between: physiology, thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs.
An observed favorable outcome may be explained by a number of overlapping mechanism in the periphery, spinal cord, and brain represented in the image below.
Structures to be Aware of When Treating Ankle Sprains
A massage therapy treatment plan should be implemented based on patient-specific assessment findings and patient tolerance. Structures to keep in mind while assessing and treating patients suffering from ankle pain may include neurovascular structures and investing fascia of:
Flexor Hallucis Brevis
Metatarsals & Interossei
More to Explore
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