Non-traditional technique speeds ankle recovery - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Non-traditional technique speeds ankle recovery


NORTH LIMA, Ohio - The thought of putting pressure on a sprained ankle may seem counter productive to healing, but it could be the key to getting people on their feet faster.

"The faster you learn about compression and traction, the faster you are out of pain," says Dick Hartzell, a coach at Flex Performance and Training in North Lima.

Hartzell stumbled upon his ankle traction technique more than 16 years ago when he was playing around with flex bands.

Through trial and error, he's developed several methods of treating sprains based on the principals of compressing and moving a joint going against what's traditionally taught.

Youngstown-native and former major league baseball player, Mark Malaska, swears by the technique.

"I've been watching coach Hartzell rehabilitate people for 20 years now," Malaska says. "I have seen it with my own eyes and I've experienced it myself."

Dr. Tim McKnight, a family-care physician, says while medical literature shows ice does reduce the pain signal from an injury site to the brain, it doesn't enhance recovery time.

"Unfortunately, rest doesn't enhance healing because it slows down blood flow," he explains. "You have to move parts, you have to move muscles and joints to restore blood flow."

McKnight is among many health care professionals who are learning and using Hartzell's technique to treat patients.

Flex Performance and Training is hosting an ankle traction clinic Friday April 19. Healthcare professionals are invited to attend. The clinic runs from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Pre-registration is required by April 12.  Call 330-717-1229 to sign up.


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