How to Treat a Sprained Ankle

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Whether you've suffered an urban injury running to catch the bus or a rural plight exploring a hiking trail, the RICE method--Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate--will get you up and moving again. Follow these helpful steps to help heal your sprained ankle.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • Hot water
  • Elastic bandages
  • Towels
    • 1

      Rest the injured ankle--in fact, stay off the leg as much as possible.

    • 2

      Ice the injury immediately, applying an ice pack for 20 minutes every hour until the swelling subsides.

    • 3

      Compress the injured area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and immobilize the ankle. Wrap from the foot toward the knee, and be careful not to wrap so tightly that you cut off circulation.

    • 4

      Elevate the leg above your heart.

    • 5

      Use moist heat once swelling in the area has subsided.

    • 6

      Begin using the ankle again gradually as pain decreases.

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