Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tip – Caring for Your Ankle Sprain
If you decide not to come to the Emergency Room for your ankle sprain, just think about the mnemonic “RICE.” (This works for any other soft tissue sprain, such as the wrist.)
The longer you stay off of it, the quicker it will heal. The more you try to use it, the longer your recovery will take and the greater the risk of aggravating the injury.
Apply ice for 15–20 minutes every hour over the first 24 hours. That will help keep the swelling and pain down. However, please keep a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
Use an ace wrap for comfort and to help with the swelling. Use crutches to help stay off that ankle.
This is about the only time I’ll tell you it’s ok to be a couch potato. Keep your leg elevated on the bed or on the couch at or above the level of your chest. That’ll help to keep the swelling down.
If you go to the ER, we’ll do the same for you, unless you have a fracture somewhere, in which case we’ll splint or cast you instead giving you the ace wrap. Stay safe.
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