I have seen a good number of these cases over the years but in the past 18 months I have witnessed nothing short of a miracle in what I previously thought was a manageable but not completely correctable condition.
This month's case is a 45 year old male with an old ankle sprain that occurred originally while playing basketball in low-top shoes and landed on an opponent's foot causing an inversion sprain (where the top of the foot rolls over and under) tearing the anterior talo-fibular ligament.
This occurred while the patient was in their late teens so over 20 years had gone by and the injury was still bothersome when walking, hiking, sitting on the floor cross-legged, and also became painful in stormy weather. The patient noted swelling to occur with the listed activities and would never fully go away even after 20+ years.
Exam of the ankle showed a good range of motion in most directions but was limited in a couple positions due to some internal scarring and adhesions that had been allowed to develop as a result of poor healing and a slightly protective gait.
A unique feature of ligaments is that they generally have limited blood flow to them and this is one reason for their typical poor healing after an injury. Add an inflammatory diet (the kind most Americans subject themselves to) to limited circulation and you have a recipe for scars and adhesions. This is one way a lifetime of old injuries can come back to haunt you.
Seeing that this connective tissue adhesion was causing much of the complaint I recommended that we try a course of Class IV laser combined with joint mobilization and icing.
The Class IV laser has shown to be extremely effective at increasing blood flow to oxygen deprived areas as well as to stimulate healing of areas that are poorly healed or not healing at all. It does this through causing not only increased oxygen but also large amounts of ATP (cellular energy) to begin to be released into the area of treatment for a period of 72 hours following each treatment application.
The laser therapy was implemented along with some light joint mobilizations of the foot and ankle followed by 10 minutes of ice and within 20 minutes the patient was walking on the foot with 80% less pain and absolutely no swelling.
Two more treatments followed over the next 3 weeks and the patient was released from active care stating 100% relief and was able to return to all previously irritating activities without complaint.
This type of result has been observed in many cases over the last 18 months with the laser including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
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Best of Health to You,
Dr. Dave Marquis, DC, DACBN
Oak Park Wellness Clinic
860 Oak Park Blvd. #202
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420