A sprained ankle is a common injury that can happen to even the most careful of people. Although it’s best to allow medical experts to treat any injuries, it’s always good to know what to do until you can get help. Experts suggest treating a sprain with the R.I.C.E. method, an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Step One: Rest. In order to keep the sprain from worsening, find a comfortable seat where you can rest your injured ankle. Don’t try to act tough or brave. Moving about will put unnecessary strain on your injury, thereby increasing the damage to your soft tissue and increasing recovery time.
Step Two: Ice. Not only will ice sooth the pain, but it will also decrease swelling. Apply ice two or three times daily, for 10-30 minutes. Be sure that you don’t rest the ice directly on the skin, as it may result in freezer burn.
Step Three: Compression. Wrap the injured ankle in bandages to reduce the swelling. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly, however, as it may cause further damage and swelling.
Step Four: Elevation. Prop the injured limb up with pillows to keep it elevated above your heart. This will reduce the swelling. Make sure you’re comfortable, as your movement will be limited for some time.
Self-treatment for injuries should not replace medical care, and you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Nevertheless, knowing how to care for a sprain can prevent it from worsening. If you take care of yourself properly, you’ll be back on your feet before you know it.