An ankle sprain can easily get worse if you don’t take care of it. When you sprain your ankle, the bones and muscles are stretched and weakened. You need to ‘heal’ the area and also avoid putting too much stress on the affected area. These tips can help.
Rice stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest means that you need to stay off your feet, and possibly wear crutches. Applying ice can reduce swelling and pain. Use an ice pack and press against the affected area for 15 minute intervals (10 minutes between intervals). Compression, or wrapping elastic cloth around the area, can help lower swelling. Elevation means keeping the ankle at heart level. Prop your feet up with pillows.
Ibuprofen, ketrorofen and naproxen can all reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen can help reduce pain but will not reduce swelling.
Strengthening the ankle
Simple exercises can strengthen the muscles after the sprain has healed. Try sitting on a chair and looping tubing around the leg. Pull up your foot, using your ankle, mimicking the movement of pulling a table towards you.
Your ankle will be weak as it heals. Reduce risk for another sprain by wearing flat shoes instead of heels, wearing lace-up ankle support or an elastic slip-on support, and avoiding rigorous activity that will put too much weight on the foot.