How to Care for a Sprained Ankle at Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re an Olympic athlete or lead a sedentary lifestyle, you might find yourself unexpectedly nursing a sprained ankle. Sprained ankles are very common injuries, and often all it takes to develop a sprain is one awkward step.

If you have the symptoms of a sprained ankle and live in the Phoenix, Arizona area, you should always seek out care from board-qualified podiatrist Ryan Golub, DPM, at Arizona Foot Health to ensure your ankle heals fully from the spain. While you’re waiting for your appointment, you can start to help your ankle heal well by caring for your sprained ankle at home.

These tips will help ensure you take excellent care of your sprained ankle as it heals.

Help! I think I sprained my ankle

If you have pain, swelling, and redness in your ankle after rolling on it, landing on it awkwardly, or experiencing other ankle trauma, there’s a good chance you’ve sprained your ankle. Having a sprained ankle means you’ve stretched or torn the ligaments in your ankle area.

A sprained ankle can be painful and even feel unstable to walk on, but the good news is, sprained ankles are very treatable. With good home care and by following Dr. Golub’s treatment protocol, you’ll be walking comfortably again in no time.

Before your appointment: caring for your sprained ankle at home

When you sprain your ankle, it’s important to make an appointment at Arizona Foot Health so Dr. Golub can evaluate your injury and develop a treatment plan. As part of healing your sprained ankle, you should also start caring for your ankle at home before your appointment, then follow Dr. Golub’s further instructions.


Resting at home helps your ankle start repairing itself. Avoid any movement that causes pain or swelling.

Ice your ankle

Icing your ankle reduces swelling and decreases your pain levels. You can ice your ankle with an ice pack for periods of 15-20 minutes.

Wear a compression bandage

Compressing your ankle by wrapping it in an elastic bandage also can reduce or stop swelling. Be careful not to wrap the bandage so tightly it impedes your circulation.

Elevate your ankle

As often as possible, especially at night, elevate your ankle so it’s higher than your heart. This helps reduce swelling and drain fluid from your ankle.

Take medications to relieve the pain

Over the counter pain relief medications are usually all you need to get pain relief for a sprained ankle. NSAIDs like ibuprofen can also help reduce swelling.

Continued home care after your appointment

When you have your appointment with Dr. Golub, he sets out a treatment plan for you to follow to repair your sprained ankle. If your sprained ankle is minor, he might recommend you continue the home care you were already doing.

He might also prescribe crutches or brace to help you keep the weight off your ankle as it heals and give you exercises to strengthen your ankle.

Your treatment plan might also include additional medications, physical therapy, pulse wave therapy, and for severe sprains, surgery.

For expert care of your sprained ankle, make your appointment today at Arizona Foot Health by phone or online.

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