Ankle sprains are incredibly common injuries that everyone has experienced at least once in their lives. They are notorious for causing instability of the ankle joint and pain due to swelling. However, home treatment is relatively easy with a little bit of patience and discipline. Appropriate treatment can help speed recovery and reduce the chance for recurring sprains.
There is an old acronym that represents the 4 words you must remember to effectively treat your ankle sprain, R.I.C.E.
R.I.C.E. – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
Rest is CRUCIAL to recovery time. Discontinue activities like running, and only walk on your ankle when you can do so comfortably without a limp.
Cold compresses can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. No ice pack? Use a bag of peas, or any bag of frozen goods in your freezer – something that is able wrap around the joint. Also, try submerging your foot in a cold ice bath for 5-10 minutes at a time to dramatically reduce swelling. Believe us, the ice bath works wonders!
Wrapping your ankle with some form of brace or support can help reduce swelling. It will also add stability and prevent your ankle from moving around too much. If the wrap causes any numbing or tingling, it may be too tight.
Make sure to keep the affected ankle elevated as much as possible. This will help reduce swelling. It’s also best if the affected ankle is at or above the level of your heart.
Lastly, don’t fret! Sprains are fast to heal with proper treatment. You’ll be back hitting the road, slopes, hills, or track in no time!