What can a Chiropractor do about a foot injury?
Ttruth of the matter is, a chiropractor can do a lot. Here at our Bellevue chiropractic office, we run into foot injuries all the time. It makes sense that we see so many foot injury cases -- people use their feet all the time and thus are more likely to injury the foot or ankle than any other area of the body.
Ankles and feet have many joints, bones, tendons, blood vessels, nerve channels and other soft tissue. There is a whole area of study devoted to feet and their effect on the rest of the body. Some beliefs and practices (like Reflexology) state that the foot has it's own "brain" of sorts.
As a Bellevue/ Seattle chiropractor I have a lot of tools at my disposal for helping patients with foot or ankle injuries. One of those tools is basically my bare hands.
The derivation of the word "Chiropractic" involves the word "hand" and in the early days...most all the chiropractor's work was done with his/her hands and that is no different today. I will test the reflexes and the mobility of the foot in order to find what areas are in need of an "adjustment" and then I will manually adjust those areas with my hands. Doing this usually puts things back to feeling better immediately.
Methods We Use
iMPULSE device: I also will employ a device called an iMPULSE device. The iMPULSE is very similar to the Arthrostim device I've used in the past but is more advanced. This device looks like a little gun and it basically delivers a series of taps into an area until it is in proper alignment and has proper mobility. The great thing about the iMPULSE is that it electronically beeps when the joint or bone has the proper mobility. It also has various tips of various sizes and allows me to get access to smaller joints and bones of the foot.
Kinesio Tape: I then frequently will apply Kinesio Tape to the injured foot. I've found that the Kinesio Tape is great at "holding the adjustment in place". It holds the foot in proper alignment for a longer period. But Kinesio Tape also lifts the skin, generates some heat and improves circulation to the injured area. In order to heal...the body has to have all its "flows" flowing. For instance, blood and nutrition has to get to the area in order for it to heal properly. Kinesio Taping helps to make this happen. Here's a video showing more on Kinesio Taping.
Ointment: There is also an ointment I sometimes apply to the Chiropractic Kinesio Taping to add more heat. Depending on the injury, heat is sometimes THE THING that is needed most. Heat to an injury can increase blood flow to that injury and help it heal sooner.
Gua Sha: If there is some soft tissue damage all the procedures above will help in repairing of that but I also use an Asian therapy known as Gua Sha to help the body repair itself. Gua Sha involves the use of various tools to help deeply rub the skin in the injured area in order to help the body repair itself quicker and more thoroughly without lots of scar tissue down the road.
Massage Therapy: If an injured ankle isn't responding as quickly as I'd like to see I sometimes also recommend the patient seeing a Massage therapist. A good massage therapist can do a lot for helping with the soft tissue damage sustained in an ankle injury. With a combination of Chiropractic and Massage I've seen injury recovery cut down to half the time.
Acupuncture: A good Acupuncturist can also do a lot for an ankle injury. There are thousands of nerve channels in the foot and triggering one can set a whole lot of healing into action. Fortunately we have a very good Acupuncturist right next door to our clinic.
Get better -- naturally!
Dr. Edward Owens, D.C.
13400 NE 20th St Suite 2
Bellevue, Wa 98005