Something as simple as stepping off the sidewalk strangely can bring on a whole load of ankle pain. For some, this may subside quickly. But for others, this could result in a severe sprained ankle, with damage to the ligaments.
As it can happen so suddenly and accidentally, ankle sprains are incredibly common. In fact, around 628,000 sprains happen annually and about 25,000 laborers sprain an ankle every single day.
For years, the treatment method prescribed by doctors and healthcare practitioners worldwide has been the infamous RICE technique - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And while this serves the purpose of helping to relieve pain and restore mobility, progress can be slow.
When you need to get back to work or be fighting fit, or simply wish to be out of pain sooner rather than later, consider a natural solution which will ramp up your recovery - red light therapy.
Understanding Sprained Ankles
An ankle sprain is where the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched to the point of pain and injury. This form of injury is extremely common, but the severity depends on the ligaments involved and the extent to which they are torn.
A sprain can result in just the stretching of the ligament or a complete tear of the tough bands of tissue that hold the ankle bones together.
The seriousness of the injury is graded by the amount of damage to the ligament:
Grade 1: [Mild] This involves minimal stretching of the ligament fibers. There won’t be a complete tear and the pain is usually light with some swelling and tenderness. The recovery time is between 1-3 weeks, but bearing weight on the ankle shouldn’t cause too much difficulty.
Grade 2: [Moderate] This is a partial tear of the ligament, accompanied with notable but tolerable pain, swelling, and tenderness. Bruising may appear too. This will usually result in some loss of range of motion and function, with bearing weight on the ankle being painful. Recovery time is a little longer at an average of 3-6 weeks.
Grade 3: [Severe] This is a full tear or rupture of the ankle ligament and results in significant pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Walking isn’t possible, nor is bearing any weight on the ankle. It can take several months to recover from a Grade 3 sprained ankle.
The most typical symptoms include:
- Inability to bear weight of the impacted ankle
- Limited range of motion
- A popping or tearing sound when the sprain occurs
If your ankle is numb, unable to bear weight, and is painful and swollen, visit your healthcare provider to examine the injury.
Diagnosing a sprained ankle isn’t typically done via an x-ray as the issue doesn’t show up on these, but instead, your clinician will distort your ankle and move it into certain positions to assess the damage.
An ankle sprain most commonly occurs when the foot twists, rolls, or turns in a random way.
This can be quite unsuspecting and can happen during usual daily activities - like stepping down from a ledge or running to catch the bus.
Unsurprisingly, athletes are very susceptible to sprained ankles.
Some common causes include:
- Wearing shoes that don’t support your ankles correctly
- Having a previous ankle injury, causing poor strength and flexibility
- Playing sports that involve running, jumping, or contact
- Landing awkwardly on your foot
- Walking or exercising on an uneven surface
What is Red Light Therapy (RLT)?
Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of red or near-infrared light to allow benefits like healing, pain reduction, and the improvement to various health and cosmetic conditions.
And the best part? It’s completely non-invasive and provides a natural solution for people seeking pain management and a way to heal a frustrating injury.
Targeted red light therapy usually comes in the form of a device or panels, the former of which is able to focus on specific parts of the body. This means a device can be strapped around your ankle so the benefits of light can treat this problem area.
How does red light therapy work?
Red light therapy works by using light-emitting diodes to emit photons of light through certain wavelengths. When this light is applied to the skin, it triggers multiple processes which ultimately help the sprained ankle to heal faster.
This form of light releases nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels, increasing the circulation into the joint.
These targeted wavelengths of light also stimulate the mitochondria to ramp up energy production and reduce oxidative stress.
Is infrared light good for a sprained ankle?
Infrared is an increasingly popular treatment method for all kinds of pain, including a sprained ankle. It uses a light-emitting diode or low-level laser to apply certain wavelengths of infrared to target troubled areas. These wavelengths sit between 780 nm and 1 mm which is at the start of the non-visible side of the spectrum.
Infrared light is particularly good for a sprained ankle because of its potential to heal injured tissues and reduce muscle tension.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Ankle Injuries
When red light is penetrated into the ankle, nitric oxide is stimulated. This helps to dilate blood vessels, widening them in the process. When these vessels are expanded, circulation is increased and more oxygen and nutrients are able to flow to the injured ankle.
Circulation is paramount for healing, with light therapy being the perfect kickstarter for this process to speed up and take place.
Tissue Repair and Healing Ligaments
Alongside the expansion of blood vessels, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is also boosted. This is the energy currency of cells and allows for the regeneration and repair of damaged tissues to begin quicker.
Unfortunately, a sprained ankle often means inflammation and discomfort - sometimes lasting several days. This swelling can hinder daily life and quickly becomes a real pain. Red light therapy allows for essential nutrients to be delivered to the ankle which aids in both healing and the reduction of inflammation.
Whilst red light is working wonders for your ankle, you’ll feel the benefit too as it’s a useful pain management tool. The wavelengths used in light therapy greatly influence the activity of muscle cells and can have a relaxing effect, helping to lose any tension. Once this tension slips away, you’ll find your sprained ankle and the often accompanying throbbing pain to be lessened.
Red Light Therapy as Treatment for a Sprained Ankle
Ankle pain can be a real hindrance on quality of life and participation in day-to-day activities. But it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Red light has the power to improve recovery and rehabilitation for sprained ankles, swelling and inflammation, chronic discomfort, and balance and stability issues.
How often do you need treatment?
As with any form of treatment, attempts of recovery are futile if you don’t commit to keeping up with red light therapy sessions. But this doesn’t have to be laborious. Instead, 5-15 minutes every day of red light on your ankle will be much more beneficial than a one off session every few months.
How many sessions do you need?
The amount of sessions needed entirely depends on the severity of your sprained ankle. Our customers report an 80% reduction in pain within 1-4 weeks, with consistency being key. But while your ankle may feel right as rain in a couple of weeks, the best benefits are seen when using red light for a prolonged period of time.
To get the most out of red light, and if using an at-home device, consider the therapy as an extension of your usual daily routine. Find a 5-15 minute slot where you can strap the device around your ankle so you get into the habit of using it.
Here’s what one of our customers had to say: “...I stuck with a 15 minute session on each ankle/heel 2x per day. After 10 days, I noticed an improvement. It was a bigger jump in relief than I had experienced in the 4 months before with other methods.
“After 30 days the relief was so significant, I started running again.
“Today I’m about 45 days in with my Kineon device and I still use it and continue to make progress…”
There’s more where that came from too. We have a whole range of testimonials and reviews from customers, experts, doctors, and established athletes from around the world.
Choosing the right RLT device for your ankle pain
There’s nothing worse than investing time and money into a new product which doesn’t work for you. Here at Kineon, we understand this. After all, our devices have been made by people like you, for people like you.
But first, let’s strip it back to basics... With red light therapy devices, these typically come in a wide panel. While this is beneficial for reaching larger surface areas, it doesn’t allow you to provide targeted care and is less effective at penetrating to treat internal tissue.
To focus on a sprained ankle, with damaged ligaments and tissue, consider a laser device for optimum effectiveness.
Other factors to consider are as follows…
While these devices aren’t invasive, you must be able to trust a health-related product. To decipher the best from the rest, read through reviews and see what other people have to say about both the brand and the product.
This can be researched through third-party review sites, testimonials, or even word-of-mouth.
At Kineon, we are trusted by top health experts and professional athletes, with the Move+ Pro’s quality recognized and relied upon by many. Our site has numerous testimonials from incredible athletes, competitors, nutritionists, and doctors.
The MOVE+ Pro is our light therapy device that has been developed from hundreds of successful clinical trials to ensure only the most effective wavelengths, dosage, and components are used. It uses lasers to penetrate deeper into the impacted area, with accurate dosing to achieve more effective results.
Customer Service and Support
Again, as with any health-related device or treatment, being able to ask questions and receive top-notch support is imperative.
When deciding which tool to buy, ensure that the company offers comprehensive support and customer service. An online help desk is most advantageous as you can troubleshoot any issues before chatting directly with the support team.
If the company you purchase from is hard to get a hold of, it can leave you scratching your head and unable to relieve your pain from the get-go.
When you order our medical-grade laser device, the MOVE+ Pro, you’ll receive the information you need to get started in a handy manual. We also have an online help desk with further resources and questions on our homepage and a support team via chat box or email - whenever you need us!
Going beyond this, our customers become part of a community. We have a private Facebook support group where customers can discuss and connect with others who are experiencing similar pain.
If you’re unsure, we offer a 30 day money-back-guarantee. Give the MOVE+ Pro a go and witness the transformation of your pain through light therapy.