A Comprehensive Guide on How to Treat a Sprained Ankle


Sprained ankle is a common injury that can happen to anyone – from athletes to ordinary people. This injury occurs when the ligaments in the ankle are overstretched or torn, leading to pain, swelling, and limited mobility. This article is intended for anyone who wishes to learn how to properly treat, heal, and prevent a sprained ankle. In this article, we will discuss the different treatment methods for a sprained ankle, as well as ways to prevent this injury from happening again in the future.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Treat a Sprained Ankle

One of the first things you can do to help relieve pain and swelling in a sprained ankle is by applying the R.I.C.E method.


The first step of the R.I.C.E method is to rest the affected ankle. Avoid putting any weight on it for the first 24-48 hours after the injury. Resting the ankle will allow the swelling to go down and prevent further damage.


The next step is to apply ice to the ankle for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first 2-3 days. Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling. Make sure not to apply ice directly to the skin; use a cloth or towel as a barrier.


Compression of the ankle helps to reduce swelling and provides support. Use an elastic bandage to apply light pressure to the ankle. Make sure it’s not too tight, as this can impede circulation of blood. Leave the bandage on for 2-3 days, making sure to re-wrap if it becomes loose.


Elevating the ankle above heart level can help to reduce swelling and pain. Prop the ankle up on a pillow or cushion while sitting or lying down. Keep the ankle elevated as much as possible for the first 2-3 days after the injury.

If the pain and swelling persist for more than a week, it’s important to visit a healthcare provider for further treatment. Depending on the severity of the sprain, additional treatment options may include physical therapy, medications, or even surgery. In addition to these treatments, there are several ways to speed up the healing process, such as massaging the affected area, getting enough rest, and doing ankle exercises as recommended by a physical therapist.

Natural Remedies for a Sprained Ankle

Aside from the R.I.C.E method, there are various natural remedies that can help to ease the pain and swelling of a sprained ankle. These remedies are often easy to find and use at home.

Ice Therapy

Ice therapy can be an effective way to reduce swelling and ease the pain of a sprained ankle. Simply place ice cubes in a cloth or towel and apply to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every few hours.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy can also alleviate pain and swelling of a sprained ankle. Dip a towel in hot water and wring it out until damp. Apply the towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes a few times a day.

Essential Oils

Essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, and chamomile can be used to relieve pain and inflammation. Apply a few drops of the oil to your skin or mix with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil before using.


Stretching and doing exercises to improve flexibility can help to speed up the healing process and prevent re-injury. Here are some exercises you can do for a sprained ankle:

  • Toe curls: Sit with your affected leg extended. Curl your toes towards you and hold for a few seconds then release. Repeat 10 times.
  • Ankle rotation: Hold your affected leg off the ground and rotate your ankle clockwise then counterclockwise. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  • Calf raise: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a stable surface. Rise up onto your tiptoes and lower back down. Repeat 10 times.

Preventing a Sprained Ankle

Prevention is the best cure for a sprained ankle. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help to reduce the risk of injury:

Strength and Balance Training

Doing exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance can help to prevent sprained ankles. Try doing exercises such as lunges, squats, and balancing on one foot.

Wearing Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes with good arch support and a good fit can help provide stability and reduce the risk of a sprained ankle.

Ankle Braces or Supports

Using ankle braces or supports can provide added protection and stability, especially when participating in high-risk activities such as sports.

Avoiding High-Risk Activities

Avoid participating in activities that have a high risk of injury, such as contact sports or rigorous exercise without proper supervision.

A Guide to Ankle Braces and Supports

If you choose to use ankle braces or supports to prevent a sprained ankle, it’s important to choose the right type of product for your needs. Here are some of the most common types of ankle braces and supports:

Ankle Sleeve

An ankle sleeve is a lightweight, elastic brace that provides compression and support to the ankle. It’s a good option for mild sprains or for use during physical activity.

Lace-up Brace

A lace-up brace provides more support than an ankle sleeve and is a good option for moderate sprains or for people who frequently participate in physical activity. This type of brace is adjustable, providing a custom fit.

Rigid Brace

A rigid brace provides maximum support and stability for severe sprains and injuries. It’s typically made of plastic and has adjustable straps for a secure fit.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Sprained Ankle

While most sprained ankles can be treated using the R.I.C.E method and natural remedies, there are times when it’s important to seek medical attention. Here are some signs that you may need to see a healthcare provider:

  • The pain is severe and does not subside after a few days
  • There is a noticeable deformity or inability to move the ankle
  • You are experiencing numbness or tingling in the ankle or foot
  • You have difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected ankle

Treatment Options

When seeking medical attention for a sprained ankle, a healthcare provider may recommend medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

Medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation. Physical therapy can help to improve flexibility and strength, reducing the risk of re-injury. Surgery is often a last resort and is only necessary for severe or chronic injuries.

What to Expect

During a medical evaluation, a healthcare provider may take x-rays or other imaging tests to assess the severity of the sprain. They may also recommend a brace or crutches to promote healing and reduce the risk of further injury. Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the sprain, but most people can expect to return to regular activities within 4-6 weeks.


Sprained ankles can be painful and frustrating, but proper treatment can help to speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of re-injury. The R.I.C.E method is an effective way to provide immediate relief, while natural remedies and exercises can help to speed up the healing process. Incorporating prevention methods into your daily life can help to reduce the risk of a sprained ankle happening in the first place. By following these tips and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can promote healing and get back to your normal activities in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Courier Blog by Crimson Themes.