One misstep and I found myself with a twisted ankle. It was as simple as stepping off the curb into a pothole that landed me with a grade 1 ankle sprain. After two weeks of using the RICE method I was still in a lot of pain–it wasn’t going away on its own. Despite being in a lot of pain, I avoided getting treatment thinking that I could walk it off. The pain didn’t go away (it worsened) so I sought some advice from a physiotherapist who designed a treatment plan for me; including acupuncture.
I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t walk properly. I was also taking ibuprofen to help with the pain, but it was only taking the edge off. Not only that but, I wanted to avoid taking pills for pain management as much as possible. My physiotherapist suggested acupuncture to reduce pain and swelling, so I decided to give it a try. I wasn’t apprehensive about the treatment, but I didn’t fully know what to expect either. However, my physiotherapist was keen to explain every part of the treatment, which helped ease any concerns I might have had.
Because of the nature of my injury, needles were placed in the LV3 point and the Bafeng point. I barely felt anything! The needles stayed in for about 15 minutes and every so often my physiotherapist would come in and give them a little twiddle to remind my body that there were still stimuli there. Almost immediately after the needles were inserted, my knee relaxed and I could feel this warm sensation over my foot and up my shin bone.
Immediately after treatment, my lower leg felt relaxed, tingly, and warm. After about 2 hours, the mobility and range of motion in my ankle improved; It didn’t feel as tight and it wasn’t as painful. As part of my treatment plan, I had been combining acupuncture, exercises, and stretching with the RICE method but my pain didn’t immediately disappear. In addition to my treatment plan, my physiotherapist also recommended I wear proper running shoes instead of the flimsy flats I had been wearing. She said it would take some of the pressure off my injury and she was right!
The take home
In the end, I’m really happy that I trusted my physiotherapist’s recommendation and went ahead with acupuncture as part of my larger treatment plan. Acupuncture worked really well as a drug-free pain relief method for me; I noticed that my foot and ankle were more relaxed afterwards and that I had more mobility too. I felt significantly better once I started treatment I only wish that I had sought it sooner. For me, the most challenging part of recovery was accepting my own limitations and seeking help. So, if you’re experiencing pain don’t wait, you can book an appointment with a qualified physiotherapist and start treatment almost immediately.