The ankle is made up of three bones: the tibia, fibula and talus. These bones are connected through hinges, or joints, that allow movement. The most common ailment that occurs within this section of the body is sprains. Sprains occur when the ligaments that are attached to the ankle either tear partially, or fully rupture. The overall pain experienced depends on the severity of the injury, yet home remedies can reduce the amount of pain and discomfort you feel.
Ice and Bandage Compression
The most common home remedy for ankle pain is applying ice wrapped in bandages. Swelling within the ankle is a major cause of pain; reducing the amount of swelling will reduce your discomfort. Ice packs can be purchased at a retail store, or it can be made at home.
To make an ice pack, halfway fill a gallon-sized Ziploc with fresh ice. Wrap the ice pack around the pained ankle, ensuring that the ice rests directly on the swollen area. If the cold is too intense, place a small rag between the skin and the ice pack. Secure the ice pack by wrapping an Ace bandage around your ankle at least three times. Elevate your ankle above your chest and rest for 20-to-30 minutes before removing.
The ingredients found within both coconut and garlic oils help reduce pain and swelling when they soak directly into the skin. Mix 3 tbsp. of coconut and garlic oil into a container and heat in the microwave for ten seconds, slightly warming the mixture. Generously massage the oil directly onto your ankle for ten minutes, allowing the oils to soak into your skin.
Cabbage contains minerals and vitamins that are useful when ingested, as well as when they're applied externally. Gather the outer layers, or leaves, of the cabbage plant. Blanch the leaves by boiling them in water and then immediately placing the leaves into a container of ice-cold water. Once the leaves have been blanched, wrap your entire foot and ankle, and allow them to rest for 30 minutes before removing.
To prevent future ankle injuries, and to strengthen an ankle that is already injured, range-of-motion exercises and stretches provide the most benefit. Only stretch or exercise the ankle once the pain has subsided.
Range-of-motion exercises will increase the flexibility of tendons and ligaments that have tightened during an injury. Trace the alphabet with your toes, moving the ankle as much as possible throughout. Repeat at least ten times per day to strengthen your ankle and improve your flexibility.
While sitting on a chair, place the foot with the injured ankle flat on the floor. Slowly move your knee from side-to-side without lifting your foot off of the ground. Repeat this exercise at least ten times per day to enhance lateral movement.
The pain level of these exercises should never move into moderate or severe levels. Experiencing a small amount of pain is common when beginning range-of-motion exercises, however, discontinue the exercise if the pain becomes severe.