Question:I had a major ankle sprain after falling from a ladder. So far, my doctor and therapist have had me keep it wrapped, iced, and elevated. Is there anything else I can do to speed up my recovery?
It sounds like you are on the right track with the treatments you describe. Continue to follow the advice of your doctor and therapist.
Research suggests that patients who've had major ankle sprains may benefit from doing special training of their healthy ankles. Disk training has been used to rehabilitate ankle sprains. Now there is evidence that these benefits may actually cross over to the other side. Researchers studied patients who worked only their sore ankles on the disk. A circular platform with a small sphere under it, the disk looks a bit like a spaceship. Patients place their feet on it and work the ankle by tilting the disk in various positions.
The study showed that disk training quickened the response of muscles around the ankle at the moment the ankle started to sprain. The main shin muscle, the anterior tibialis muscle, showed the greatest improvement. Surprisingly, this muscle got faster on the other leg, too--the one that wasn't worked on the disk.
This certainly raises the question whether patients with severe ankle sprains might benefit by starting disk treatments right away on their uninjured ankles. Be sure to talk with your health provider before experimenting with this type of treatment.
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