How To Effectively Treat A Sprained Ankle
By Dr. Ben Kim on December 22, 2004
Natural Health Solutions
For years, the standard protocol for treating a sprained ankle has been the R.I.C.E. method - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While this protocol usually prevents further damage and allows gradual healing of a sprained joint, I have found that people recover more quickly and effectively when they follow the following recommendations: 1.
Avoid wrapping or compressing the joint. Often times, wrapping the injured joint can prevent excess fluid from draining from area, prolonging inflammation and discomfort. 2.
Elevating your injured ankle on a blanket or pillow while on the couch or in bed is helpful for fluid drainage. While your ankle is elevated, spell out the alphabet with your foot as often as you are able to. If the injury is severe, you may not be able to do this at all. Do it as soon as you are able to, as putting the injured joint through its normal range of motion helps with fluid drainage and prevents a build-up of scar tissue. 3.
As soon as you are able to spell out the alphabet with your ankle, begin contrast therapy with hot and cold water. Fill two buckets or pans that are large enough to comfortably house your foot and ankle - one with hot water, and one with cold water. The water temperatures should be as hot and as cold as you can tolerate. o
Begin by putting your foot and ankle into the hot water for two minutes. Slowly spell out the alphabet, taking the joint through as much range of motion as possible without creating too much pain. o
Next, transfer your foot and ankle into the cold water for two minutes. Allow your foot to rest completely. o
Go back and forth from hot to cold, taking your ankle through range of motion exercises in the hot water, and resting in the cold water, for a total of three to four cycles. Your final two minutes should be in cold water when you still have noticeable swelling in your ankle. As the...
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