I sprained my ankle pretty good when I stepped down off the curb wrong. I've got a big walking trip to Europe planned in three weeks. Is there any way I can speed up the recovery process?
There may be! According to the results from a recent study of acute ankle sprains, short-term recovery time was greatly reduced with the use of an Air-Stirrup brace. Results were best when the Air-Stirrup was combined with an Ace elastic wrap.
An ankle sprain rehab program is also a good idea. The first phase tries to reduce the swelling and minimize the trauma. Crutches, ice, elevation, and exercises are used during the first week after injury.
Exercises are designed to restore motion and prevent fluid from building up around the area of injury and inflammation. Usually a physiotherapist guides the patient through the process. Exercises may include toe curls, ankle rolls, walking, swimming, and biking on a stationary bike.
Balance training and agility skills along with strength training are the final phase of the program. You may not reach this phase of treatment before your trip. But the combined use of an ankle brace and elastic wrap should reduce your recovery time in the early phase by half.
Bruce D. Beynnon, PhD, et al. A Prospective, Randomized Clinical Investigation of the Treatment of First-Time Ankle Sprains. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. September 2006. Vol. 34. No. 9. Pp. 1401-1412.