For immediate self-care of an ankle sprain, try the R.I.C.E. approach:
Aug. 21, 2014
- Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort.
- Ice. Use an ice pack or slush bath immediately for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat every two to three hours while you're awake. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.
- Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don't hinder circulation by wrapping too tightly. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.
- Sprained ankle. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00150. Accessed June 9, 2014.
- Maughan KL. Ankle sprain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 9, 2014.
- Kaminski TW, et al. National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement: Conservative management and prevention of ankle sprains in athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48:528.
- How to care for a sprained ankle. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/foot-injury/Pages/How%20to%20Care%20for%20a%20Sprained%20Ankle.aspx?PF=1. Accessed June 9, 2014.