1. ICE, ICE, BABY!!
Use the cooling properties of ice to help minimize inflammation, swelling and to reduce pain. Use an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes, every 2 hours for the first 2 to 3 days. Gel packs, frozen peas or ice blocks in damp towel are all suitable.
2. Get help if you need it: if you cannot take any steps on the sprained ankle, AND if there is pain in certain areas on the malleoli plus pain on the bones above and below the ankle, you may need to see your doctor or physio to organise an xray.
3. UNDER PRESSURE!
The use of a pressure bandage can also reduce swelling and make it more comfortable (available from Dalkeith Physiotherapy or Dalkeith Pharmacy). Raise it above heart level when possible.
4. GENTLE MOVEMENTS
Moving your ankle up, down, in and out gives gentle pressure to the injured ligaments, which helps the collagen in the ligament to heal in a stronger, more organized way. Do this a few times every hour or so. This also helps to dissipate the swelling.
5. SEEK ADVICE
Serious sprains (extremely swollen and bruised) may need extra rehab. Leslee and Andrew at Dalkeith Physiotherapy are happy to give advice on when to return to sport, and how to protect the ankle from further injury (for example, a full graduated exercise program, strapping, and balance exercises).