Sprained Your Ankle? The 101 On Treating Your Ankle Sprain With RICE

12 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

From playing your favorite sport or running for exercise to slipping on a wet floor, it is easy to see how ankle injuries are common. Considering an estimated 25,000 people sprain their ankle each day, learning how to treat this common injury is smart. While common, recovering from a sprained ankle can be painful and overwhelming and it may require custom orthotics. Fortunately, your doctor will recommend R.I.C.E to treat your ankle. This form of treatment does not involve a boil-in-the-bag side dish, but offers an effective, comfortable treatment for your sprained ankle. Using this guide, you will see the benefits of R.I.C.E for your sprained ankle.

R is for Rest

If you are an athletic, adventurous, or busy individual, you may find recovery difficult. However, resting your sprained ankle is essential for proper healing.

Avoid walking or placing any amount of stress or pressure on your sprained ankle. While obvious to hear, you should also avoid sports and exercise.

Use crutches, if possible, but only for light movement such as moving around your home or to and from your doctor's office. To prevent discomfort under your arms, use padded crutches. This will ensure you are able to move safely without any additional pain.

I is for Ice

In most cases, you will experience some swelling with an ankle sprain. The swelling is painful and it will increase without proper rest.

To reduce swelling and to numb your ankle sprain, use an ice pack. Hold the ice pack against your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours while recovering from your sprain. This will reduce swelling, and also decrease your pain.

C is for Compression

Your doctor will wrap the ankle with an elastic bandage or specialty ankle brace. This will compress the sprain, which will reduce swelling and painful inflammation. In addition, the bandage or brace will prevent the ankle from moving, which is imperative for healing.

After a few days, you will need to remove the old bandage to clean your ankle. After bathing, rewrap the sprained ankle using clean bandages or a new brace. Use the following steps to wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage:

  1. Place the end of the elastic bandage on the ball of your foot.
  2. Move the tail of the bandage towards the outer part of the foot.
  3. Place a few pieces of gauze on the ankle before moving the bandage across to cover.
  4. Hold the bandage on the ball of your foot with one hand while wrapping the tail of the bandage across the top of your foot with your other hand.
  5. Be sure the bandage is secure and free of bumps or bulges, but do not make it overly tight.
  6. Continue wrapping until you cover your ankle a few times.
  7. Create a figure 8 around the ankle by wrapping the bandage around the back of the ankle to the bottom of your foot and back to the ankle's front.
  8. Use metal clips to secure the end of the bandage in place.

E is for Elevate

During your recovery, it is important to elevate your foot. While resting in bed, rest your ankle on a few pillows. When sitting in a chair, proper your sprained ankle on a stool or table.

Elevating the sprained ankle will reduce swelling and pain to prevent improper healing.

A sprained ankle may be common, but it does not have to wreak havoc on your life. With proper rest, ice, compression, and elevation, your ankle will heal in a safe, less painful manner.