Health Tip: Ice a Sprained Ankle
(HealthDay News) -- A sprained ankle involves a stretched or
torn ligament near the joint. Experts often suggest icing the ankle
to ease pain and reduce swelling.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these
guidelines for icing a sprained ankle:
- Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice and apply it to the ankle.
But first, cover the ankle with a thin, damp cloth.
- To create an ice slush bath, add water and ice to a large
bucket, immersing your foot until the skin feels numb.
- For an ice massage, freeze water in a small Styrofoam cup,
removing the top section of the cup once it's frozen. Gently
massage the ankle with the ice, holding the covered section, in a
circular rotation. Don't hold the ice on the same part of the ankle
for more than 30 seconds.
- For the first three days after the sprain, ice your ankle every
- Don't apply ice for longer than 20 minutes. Applying it longer
can result in nerve damage.
- Always remove the ice when your skin starts to feel numb.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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