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Athletic Training

Ankle sprain

03/15/2007

Question:

2 Days ago I sparined my ankle playing raquet ball. It was a Sunday and Monday I had to return to work. I believe it is a level 1 sprain because there is very little bruising and I can stand on it with almost no pain. It has swelled up alot and I have been iceing it as much as I can at work and at home. Although while I am at work I can not elevate my ankle to help the swelling. If you have any tips I would grealty appreciate it. I am not on my feet all day, just some trips to the copy machine and back, but I do not want this to elevate or become more serious than it is. Please help!

Answer:

The R.I.C.E. principle is what you need to follow to address the inflammation and swelling. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

It sounds like you are doing 3 of the 4; however, the compression can be the most important when you are unable to consistently elevate during the work day. The best way to provide compression is to apply an ace bandage starting at your toes and wrapping in a spiral to your mid-calf. As you spiral, over-lap the ace bandage by half its width, make sure there are no gaps, and apply more tension to the bandage at the toes and gradually decrease it as you move to the calf. Make sure you can still feel your toes and they do not go cold or numb during the day. If either of these symptoms occur, loosen the bandage.

Continue to ice throughout the day and elevate when you can.   Good Luck!

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Response by:

Mary  Laingen, MS, ATC Mary Laingen, MS, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
The Ohio State University