You can treat a lot of ankle sprains at home. Doctors recommend the
RICE approach, listed below. Rest : All ankle sprains require a period of rest. The length of time will depend on your grade of sprain. Your doctor can help you with a timeline. Use crutches if it hurts to put weight on your foot. Ice : Ice helps decrease swelling, bruising, pain, and spasms. Putting ice on your ankle is helpful, but you need to be careful. The can damage your nerves if you leave ice in place too long. You should only use ice for up to 20 minutes at a time. If your skin feels numb, itБs time to remove the ice. Use ice treatments every 2 to 4 hours for the first 3 days after your injury. Ice treatments can consist of ice packs, ice baths, or ice massages. To make an ice pack, partly fill a plastic bag with ice. Put a thin, damp cloth on your ankle to create a layer between your skin and the ice.
Wrap an elastic bandage around the ice pack to hold it in place. For an ice bath, fill a large bucket with water and ice. Place your ankle in the bucket until the skin starts to get numb. Ice massages can work well for small areas. Freeze water in 4- to 8-ounce Styrofoam (coffee) cups. Tear the top part of the cup away from the ice. Hold the covered end and slowly rub the ice over the sprained area in a circular motion. DonБt hold the ice on one spot for more than 30 seconds. Compression : You can wrap your ankle to avoid swelling and bruising. You might need to do this for several days or a week after your injury. Start by cutting out a horseshoe-shaped pad from 1 x 4- to 3 x 8-inch-thick felt. Put this pad around the outside of your ankle joint on both sides of your foot.
The open end should face up. Then wrap an elastic bandage, such as an Ace bandage, in a Бfigure-eightБ pattern. Leave your heel exposed. Reinforce your wrap with 21 x 2-inch adhesive tape over the elastic bandage. Your doctor can show you how to do this. The ankle shouldnБt be wrapped so tight that it cuts off your flow. Elevation : Raise your ankle at or above the level of your heart. This helps prevent the swelling from getting worse and reduces bruising. Try to keep your ankle elevated for about 2 to 3 hours a day. To help relieve pain, you can take over-the-counter medicine. Try acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or Nuprin). YouБll need additional treatment for a higher-grade ankle sprain. Your doctor might give you a cast, boot, or to wear on your ankle.
This will keep your ligaments and joint in place while they heal. It limits motion, provides protection, and helps reduce pain. You may need to wear it for 2 to 6 weeks. Physical therapy also is an important part of ankle sprain treatment. The amount and length of time will depend on your grade and state of health. To help your sprained ankle heal, youБll need to ease the pain and bring down the swelling. Make an appointment right away for anyб ankle sprain, mild or severe. You doctor will examine you and let you know if something more serious is wrong with your ankle. Pain, bruising, or severe swelling Bleeding, numbness, or change in color of the affected area If your ankle is just painful and swollen, remove ankle bracelets or toe rings right away.
Then try the БRICEБ method to ease your symptoms. RICE stands for Бrest, ice, compress, and elevate. Б HereБs how it works: For the first 48 hours, elevate (raise) the ankle higher than your heart whenever you\’re lying down How Do I Wrap My Ankle? Take the compression wrap out of the packaging and unroll it. Place a small section of the cloth just behind your toes and begin to wrap it in a spiral toward your heart. Each layer should cover about half the width of the previous one. Continue wrapping around the foot, heel, and ankle until every bit of skin — up to several inches above the injury — is covered. If you still have pain and swelling, ask your doctor about over-the-counter pain relievers. DonБt giveб aspirinб to anyone under age 19. б 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.