What helps a sprained ankle heal faster?


Quick Answer

To help an ankle sprain heal faster, doctors recommend that patients practice the RICE method, which is to rest, ice, compress and elevate the ankle, according to About.com. After the first couple of days, patients should begin moving and strengthening the ankle.

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Full Answer

As soon as an ankle sprain occurs, doctors recommend that patients begin the RICE treatment, as it helps to reduce swelling, alleviate pain and improve mobility, states About.com. Resting must begin within the first 24 to 48 hours following the injury and is a crucial step in treatment. It's important to limit activities during this period and not to put a lot of weight on the foot.

Icing the ankle may also help to speed up healing, and ice packs and ice wraps are both good choices, explains About.com. Using compression, such as an Ace bandage, may also help. The individual should wrap the bandage around the ankle from the toes to the top of the calf, making sure to overlap the band by about one-half of its width. The wrap must be snug but should not cut off the circulation. It is also important to keep the ankle higher than the heart when possible to reduce swelling.

The individual should begin to put weight on the ankle gradually 48 hours after the injury, notes About.com. Strengthening, stretching and range-of-motion exercises help the ankle heal and function normally.

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