But, you're likely to go to the local drugstore and buy an Ace-bandage or a neoprene ankle support or somthing else similar. I've always liked a good elaborate tape job with lateral & medial ankle stays (stirrups), double heel locks and the classic figure eight around the ankle. Of course that was a pain to have to have done every day, especially to try doing it to yourself. I went from classic white to self-grip tape, but the effectiveness of the tape wears off after maybe an hour, if that. Ace-type elastic bandages will give you some support, not much and similarly those neoprene sleeve give you a little support as well. Nothing really great.
When used properlt, the air-ankle stirrup is probably the best. Used properly means wearing it with a properly laced up sneaker or shoe. As I've said previously, I like to use it in hi-top basketball sneakers.
So it seems this is the best.....or so I thought until June 2006
A couple years ago I came across an article in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors of the study concluded that the best, most efficient method is a combination of using an elastic bandage around the ankle AND the air-stirrup. Here's an excerpt from the article
Results: Treatment of grade I sprains with the Air-Stirrup brace combined
with an elastic wrap returned subjects to normal walking and stair climbing in
half the time required for those treated with the Air-Stirrup brace alone and in
half the time required for those treated with an elastic wrap alone. Treatment
of grade II sprains with the Air-Stirrup brace combined with the elastic wrap
allowed patients to return to normal walking and stair climbing in the shortest
time interval. Treatment of grade III sprains with the Air-Stirrup brace or a
walking cast for 10 days followed by bracing returned subjects to normal walking and stair climbing in the same time intervals. The 6-month follow-up of each sprain severity group revealed no difference between the treatments for
frequency of reinjury, ankle motion, and function.
Conclusion: Treatment of first-time grade I and II ankle ligament
sprains with the Air-Stirrup brace combined with an elastic wrap provides
earlier return to preinjury function compared to use of the Air-Stirrup brace
alone, an elastic wrap alone, or a walking cast for 10 days.
Here's a link to the antire abstract: http://ajs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/9/1401
Today is day 5 of my ankle sprain ordeal. I guess you can call this the the Ankle Sprain Chronicles..... The things I'm telling you in this and the 2 prior blog posts are the things I do for myself(and other sports chiropractors do...). My ankle is a Grade II+ sprain possibly a grade 3. It is quite unstable, very painful if not kept in a neutral position. But, with the 3" elastic bandage around the ankle and the air-stirrup and my hi-top sneakers(Love thos New Balance B-Sall Sneakers), I'm able to walk around my office and treat patients. Yesterday, I even went to the gym and worked out with my trainer....non-weight bearing of course.
Here are pictures of the air-stirrup with the elastic bandage and a picture of it in the sneaker. This is how it's done. If you have any questions about ankle sprain diagnosis, treatment or rehab, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As soon as I'm ready I will be posting short videos to show you the types of rehab I'll be doing...look for that in future blog posts.
Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.