How To: Heal a sprained ankle

Heal a sprained ankle

Looking to heal your sprained ankle and not sure what to do? Don't panic. A sprained ankle can be quite painful, as well as prevent you from getting where you need to go. You can heal more quickly with proper care.

• Anti-inflammatory drugs
• Ice
• A sealable plastic bag
• A protective brace or compression
• Bandages
• Crutches
• A doctor
• A frozen bag of peas or commercial ice pack (optional)

Step 1: Take anti-inflammatory medication
Take anti-inflammatory medication as soon as possible after injuring your ankle. This will help reduce swelling.

Step 2: Ice your ankle
Ice your ankle to further reduce swelling and inflammation. Place ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag and lay it over your ankle for 10 to 20 minutes per hour until the swelling goes down.

Step 3: Compress injury
Compress the injured ankle with a protective brace or a compression bandage for the first 24 to 36 hours. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly and cut off blood circulation.

Step 4: Elevate your ankle
Elevate your ankle for two to three hours each day, raising your ankle above your heart level while lying down. Elevation will decrease the swelling and bruising.

Step 5: Use crutches
Use crutches when walking to decrease the pressure on the injury, accelerate healing, and prevent further injury.

Step 6: See a doctor
See a doctor if pain and swelling persists, or if you believe you may have broken your ankle.

Tip: Ankle sprains usually result from people rolling their ankle inward and tearing the fibers of ankle ligaments.

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