Injury: Severe ankle sprain

One morning, a young Japanese woman was carried rather unceremoniously in to my office over her workmate’s shoulder. She had caught her shoe in a tramline nearby and suffered a severe twist to her ankle.

The joint was grossly swollen, dark discoloration signalled bleeding in the immediate area, and she was unable to bear any weight at all on her injured foot.

Even a cursory glance suggested she more than likely had broken a bone or ruptured a ligament or two and, although she was very stoical, her face couldn’t hide the pain she was suffering.

An X-ray was essential to rule out a fracture, but, her Japanese stoicism won the day and she refused because she was running late for work!

These were early days when I hadn’t yet tried treating such an injury with the extract, so, certain it could do no harm to a closed injury I spread a small amount of wheatgrass cream over the now grossly swollen joint and applied a firm bandage to help reduce joint movement. Weight-bearing was out of the question so I lent her a pair of crutches.

She promised to return the next day for X-ray.

Just three hours later, she walked almost without a limp into my office and returned the crutches! To my amazement, she was fully weight-bearing on her injured ankle!

Also, the swelling had almost completely disappeared! There was a touch of discolouration around the ankle, but I could now move the joint quite freely, evoking only a little pain – an impossible manoeuvre just a few hours earlier. When I suggested we do a precautionary X-ray, she politely refused on the grounds she had to return to work!

Sports injury therapists (and doctors), you, your patients and their club could all benefit from  accelerated recovery of many injuries by making wheatgrass extract readily available. It is also in players' interests to apply wheatgrass BEFORE the event (and at training) to help prevent injuries.

Providing there is no sign of fracture or serious injury, the swelling will often settle significantly in a few hours. Ice can only do more harm than good and should be avoided as it inhibits blood flow to the injury and slows recovery.

Whatever you do, do not apply ice to an injury.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.