Rehabilitation can help you regain strength, balance and coordination before you return to activity.
However, in the first week after you sprained your ankle, it is important that you rest your ankle sufficiently and adopt these measures to control your discomfort.
Using the acronym
PRICE, we can manage the initial swelling and pain after an ankle sprain.
Protecting the ankle means avoiding actions that would cause potential injury or further harm, such as wearing high-heels and walking on slopes. You should also wear an ankle brace until you have recovered. In some cases as advised by the doctor, using an offloading walker boot might be helpful for a short period of time.
Rest the ankle to allow it time to heal. We encourage ‘relative rest’, where you reduce the use of the affected foot for three to seven days. You should feel better progressively, following which you can begin to put some weight on the ankle.
Ice the ankle immediately following the injury by placing crushed ice in a bag or a cold compress over the sore ankle to help reduce pain and inflammation. Apply for about 15 to 20 minutes, two to three times per day.
Compress the ankle to immobilise it by wrapping it firmly with an elastic bandage. This will also help with the swelling. Remove the bandage when doing rehabilitation exercises and when in bed.
Elevate your sprained ankle above the level of your heart as often as possible, and especially if you are sitting or lying for long periods of time.