What is the treatment for a sprained ankle?
If you have sprained your ankle, it is important to: • Stop the activity you are doing; • Rest your injured ankle; • Apply icepacks regularly to the ankle to reduce pain and swelling; • Apply compression using firm bandage to stabilise the joint and reduce swelling; • Elevate your ankle. This can be remembered using the mnemonic RICE - rest, ice, compression and elevation. Also, avoid exercise, alcohol, heat and massage for two days after your sprain. Once swelling has improved and pain is controlled, it is important to gently and gradually start using your ankle. Physiotherapy may be used and could include: • An exercise program to improve mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles; • Advice regarding ankle braces and tape use during activities, and; • The use of a wobble board or trampoline to promote balance. Surgery may be needed if the ankle injury is severe, there is an associated fracture or the ankle injury is not improving even with physical therapy.