Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries, accounting for 25,000 injuries per day. Proper care for sprained ankles is vital to speeding up the healing process and ensuring that long-term issues are avoided. The acronym RICE will help you provide your ankle with the care it needs and heal your sprain in no time.
Your ankle is in fragile condition and placing your weight on it would be an awful idea. You don’t want to put more stress on your injury, which is why you need to rest your sprained ankle. If you do need to walk, then make sure you’re using crutches properly. Another useful tip is to wear an ankle brace to control swelling and add stability.
If you’ve seen a sprained ankle, you’ll know that it is incredibly puffy. It’s important to try to maintain the swelling and apply ice to your sprain for the first 2-3 days, or until the swelling goes down. Try 10-20 minutes every other hour. Make sure you are placing cloth between the ice and your skin to avoid frost bite!
Using an elastic compression wrap will alleviate your swelling symptoms as well. You should wear this brace for the first two days, especially if you are walking around with crutches. The brace protects your ankle from the pressure of walking. Make sure your wrap isn’t too tight or too loose—it needs to be tight enough to hold your ankle, but loose enough to not cause numbness, pain, tingling, etc.
The last part of the RICE approach is ensuring that your ankle is raised. You can aim for 2-3 hours of elevation per day. An easy way to keep your ankle elevated is to lay in a reclining chair and have your foot raised. This also aims at decreasing your swelling.
Simply by following RICE, you will be on the road to fully recovering your puffy ankle. Take the time to relax and rest your ankle, the perfect way to binge watch your favorite TV show. Be sure to visit Clovis Open MRI if you are concerned about whether your ankle is sprained or broken!