Though the condition can be excruciating, there are many quick, effective ways to heal a sprained ankle, such as keeping the injury immobile as long as possible. Compressing the wound with a comfortable bandage and elevating it above chest-level are also helpful ways to heal an ankle sprain. A cold compress is also recommended to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Once it is established that an ankle is sprained, the injury should be immobilized. The injured person should refrain from moving, and instead rest while elevating the affected ankle. The initial first two days following the injury should be spent resting as much as possible in this fashion. After this time period, walking can commence gradually. The aid of a crutch is typically recommended while trying to heal a sprained ankle.
Icing an ankle injury is also considered important, especially during the first two days. Using an ice pack, the affected person should keep the ankle elevated as the coldness is applied for 20 minutes every few hours. This treatment should not be used for a longer period, however, as it can cause further damage to the tissue and even increase recovery time. Icing can also help heal a sprained ankle by reducing the amount of swelling from the injury.
If an ice pack or other cold compress is unavailable, people trying to heal a sprained ankle should still attempt to reduce swelling with a cool object. Many people use a bag of frozen vegetables, such as peas, when in a pinch. Others may simply wrap ice in a washcloth, though such a method can get messy as the ice melts. Keeping an ice pack designed for injuries in the freezer can be a beneficial habit to foster.
Seeing a physician can be a very beneficial action to take to heal an ankle ligament injury. The doctor can provide an individualized treatment plan depending upon the patient's symptoms, condition, age, and other factors. Younger patients often heal more quickly than older people do, so older patients especially may wish to seek medical attention for a twisted ankle.
When an injury is severe, a doctor may recommend the use of a splint or cast. Physical therapy may be needed to heal a sprained ankle that is deemed in serious condition. If bandaging the wound is recommended, the bandage should be firm but comfortable. If it is tight enough to cut off the patient's circulation or causes the skin to turn blue, it should be re-wrapped.