Immediately after injury, discontinue activity, elevate your ankle and apply cold therapy to the injured area to help reduce swelling and pain. Don’t try to “tough it out” or limp through the pain, as this may cause more serious problems.
An ankle sprain can take from a few days up to several weeks to heal. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury.
You can use non-prescription medications like ibuprofen to help manage your pain; do not exceed the recommended dosage.
See your doctor if:
For several days following injury, follow the RICE treatment:
If it’s painful to walk or put weight on your foot, stay off your feet as much as possible. Rest your ankle and use crutches or a knee scooter to support your weight if you need to get around.
Ice your ankle for 48 to 72 hours after injury to help reduce pain and swelling; apply ice or cold therapy for 20 minutes at a time every two to three hours.
A wrap can be applied around the ankle at the site of the sprain to help decrease swelling.
Raise the injured ankle above the level of the heart for at least two to three hours a day, and while you sleep, for the first 24 to 36 hours to help reduce swelling and bruising.
Whether you play sports or need something for daily wear, an ankle brace can help keep pressure off the affected ankle and help prevent further injury.