Managing an Ankle Sprain

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Important Disclaimer: The details posted on this page are for information purposes only. Learn to manage, recognize and help people with sprains and strains by enrolling in St Mark James first aid and CPR training.

Ankle sprains can be very painful, but they are easy to treat and are thus, not potentially life threatening problems.

Seek immediate medical attention if the following problems result:ankle-sprain1-1

  • Bruising, swelling and pain is severe
  • The ankle seems to be deformed
  • You suspect a bone might be broken–or a bone is protruding out
  • You suspect that the ankle may be dislocated
  • The ankle cannot bear any weight and the pain is not letting you walk


Follow these treatment steps to heal your ankle sprain:

1. Control any swelling. Remove any anklets or ankle bracelets and toe rings if the casualty is wearing any
2. Follow RICE:

  • Rest. Rest your ankle. You may use crutches if needed
  • Ice. Apply an ice pack or ice wrapped with a towel on your ankle for about 20-30 minutes. This should be repeated several times a day and continued for 48 hours.
  • Compress. Compress the affected region by wrapping it with a sterile elastic bandage. Avoid wrapping the ankle too tightly as it may discourage blood flow.
  • Elevate. Elevate the affected region above heart level, if practical, for the first 2 days of injury.

3. Control any inflammation and/or pain in or around the affected region. Take over the counter pain medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relive pain. Avoid giving aspirin to young children and teenagers below 18 years of age.
4. See your doctor. Whether your ankle pain is mild or severe, it is important that you make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Learn More

For more information and training pertaining to managing and helping victims of ankle sprains take a St Mark James program (more information).

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