First aid for sprained ankle

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Sprained ankle is very common and we all must have experienced it at some point or another. Some situations are- you run and out of the blue your ankle twists and you are left behind with utter pain in the ankle. Your face a similar situation while stepping down hurriedly on a staircase and women most often sprain their ankle from losing balance while walking on high heels.

Whatever the reason is- you are at the receiving end. Sprain is basically an injury to the ligaments which are elastic connections between two adjoining bones. The ligaments may tear if the injury is severe. So how do you cope with such a situation? It’s very natural that you may not want to see your doctor immediately but would like to get some first aid to reduce the pain and swelling.

Don’t worry, we shall explain you the “first aid” for sprained ankle over here:

First Aid for Sprained Ankle

You can instantly try the R.I.C.E therapy at home. Follow the instructions below:

R for Rest

Rest is itself a therapy, wherein you do nothing but rest your feet. Rest, however doesn’t entail stopping your leg movement completely. You just need to make sure that you do not exert pressure on the sprained ankle or subject it to forceful movement. To keep the blood circulation on, try to move the other feet, like rotating the ankle while keeping the injured one at rest.

I for Ice

Ice therapy does it all, so do it as soon as possible. Crush some ice or take out ice cubes from the refrigerator, wrap it in a plastic bag to apply on the injury. You can also use chemical cool packs for this purpose. Do it for 15-20 minutes at least for 4 times in the first two days or until you notice any improvement. Make sure you do not leave the pack for too long as it might freeze the tissues. The swelling and pain usually reduce to a large extent with ice pack.

C for Compress

After you are done with the ice therapy, wrap your ankle tightly with an ace bandage or an elastic ankle brace. Compression is needed to heal the swelling. Ace bandages are medically approved as they reduce blood flow to the affected area by applying stable pressure which ultimately reduces swelling at the sprained portion. However, do not make it too tight to bear.

E for Elevate

Try to raise your sprained ankle above or at the level of your heart. Place the injured leg on a high rise stool, resting the other leg on the ground at least 2-3 hours in a day for 72 hours. Elevation will quickly reduce the swelling.

That was all about the First Aid. Follow the aforementioned RICE therapy as the first level treatment option for healing a sprained ankle.

Some more ways to deal with a sprained ankle

  • Additionally, you can use an OTC instant pain relief spray or apply a balm over the injured portion without massaging.
  • If the pain persists, then take pain killers like NSAIDs
  • Walk slowly and cautiously without hurting your ankle further. Protect it from accidental over the top injuries.

We insist you to see your doctor once on experiencing unbearable pain to rule out any underlying abnormality and to get the right treatment. It usually takes 3-4 days or more to get rid of the discomfort.

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Written by: healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 02, 2015