A sprained ankle occurs when the delicate tissues surrounding the ankle joint become torn. This most commonly occurs as the result of accidentally twisting the ankle. Natural sprained ankle remedies are quite popular and are generally effective, although any questions or concerns should be discussed with a doctor. Some of the most common sprained ankle remedies include rest, the use of ice therapy, and gentle exercise. Each patient may need to experiment with different treatment options in order to determine the best sprained ankle remedies in any individual situation.
Rest is one of the most important sprained ankle remedies. For the first few days following the injury, the affected foot should be used as little as possible. Resting the ankle can reduce pain and prevent further damage from occurring. If movement is necessary, it may help to use a splint or a brace to keep the ankle as immobile as possible. Supportive devices, such as crutches, may be helpful as well.
Along with resting the ankle, elevation is another of the best sprained ankle remedies. While resting the ankle, the affected foot should be elevated above the level of the heart. It is especially helpful to elevate the foot at night when sleeping. This elevation helps to reduce swelling and improve circulation. The foot should not be elevated so far that it causes increased discomfort.
Another one of the more popular sprained ankle remedies includes the use of ice on the affected ankle. An ice pack can be applied for about 15 minutes at a time and repeated several times per day. This can often reduce swelling, thus relieving some of the discomfort associated with the sprain. Caution should be used, as applying ice for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time can actually damage the skin.
Compression is perhaps the most controversial sprained ankle remedies available. Some doctors recommend stabilizing the ankle with a bandage, while others believe that healing time is lessened when compression is not used. If compression is used, the bandage should be snug but not tight.
Gentle stretching exercises may be used as sprained ankle remedies after the ankle has had a few days to begin healing. Simple range-of-motion exercises are often best, and weight should not be placed on the ankle until it is no longer uncomfortable to do so. If there are any questions concerning when it is safe to begin these exercises, a doctor or physical therapist should be consulted.