Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How To Heal a Sprained Ankle Fast

How To Heal a Sprained Ankle Fast

If you sprained your ankle, the chances are good that you can treat it yourself at home if it is a relatively minor sprain. The best way to remember how to treat your sprained ankle injury is through R.I.C.E.

These steps focus on helping your ankle heal quickly and helping reduce swelling. Excessive swelling can do more harm than good in the long run, leading to decreased mobility in the ankle, so follow these steps, known by the acronym R.I.C.E, to help your ankle heal as quickly as possible.

  • Rest: It should go without saying, but the best way to start the healing process in your ankle is by resting it. You should stay off it as much as possible. The best thing to do is to stay off your feet altogether. If something you are doing is causing your ankle to hurt, you should avoid that activity.
  • Ice: As soon as possible after spraining your ankle, you should apply ice to the area. Apply the ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and do this every two to three hours during the day. This will help prevent swelling and reduce your discomfort.
  • Compression: You can help reduce swelling in your ankle by compressing it with a compression bandage. While you do not want to cut off your circulation with the bandage, you want to compress it tightly enough that fluid will not be able to build in the ankle.
  • Elevation: Keeping your injured ankle above the level of your heart can also help reduce swelling in the ankle. This is especially important at night. Swelling is caused by excess fluid in the ankle and elevating your foot can help drain this excess fluid.

You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease your discomfort.

Sometimes home treatment is not enough. When you get injured at work, it is a good idea to see a doctor, no matter how mild the sprain may seem at first. But if your symptoms worsen or cause excessive pain, it is especially important to see a doctor.

A doctor may use X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to determine the extent of your ankle injury and check for broken bones.

Your injury doctor might recommend that you use crutches or an ankle boot to help rest and stabilize the injured joint until it heals. After the sprain has started to heal, your doctor may have you do exercises to help you regain your strength. This might include balance exercises such as standing on one leg.

These exercises will help your ankle muscles learn to work together again because many times, ankle injuries tend to weaken the joint. Doing exercises will help prevent your ankle from getting sprained in the future.