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How to Heal a Sprained Ankle

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


  • Step 1: Take anti-inflammatory medication Take anti-inflammatory medication as soon as possible after injuring your ankle. This will help reduce swelling.
  • TIP: Anti-inflammatory medication may need to be taken for several days after the injury.
  • 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.
  • TIP: A bag of frozen peas or a commercial ice pack can be used instead of ice and may cover the affected injury more fully.
  • 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.
  • TIP: A good rule of thumb is to stay off of your ankle as much as possible until it has healed.
  • 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.
  • FACT: Ankle sprains usually result from people rolling their ankle inward and tearing the fibers of ankle ligaments.

You Will Need

  • 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)

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