- 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
- A sealable plastic bag
- A protective brace or compression
- A doctor
- A frozen bag of peas or commercial ice pack (optional)