Spraining an ankle is never an enjoyable experience. Still, there are a few ways to make the healing process feel easier. An ankle sprain can happen when planting your foot the wrong way, twisting on uneven ground, during sports, or even too much force being applied to your ankle joint. Different treatments exist, and some are more reliable than others. The effectiveness of medications and healing time really depends on the severity of the sprain. 

Rest

When first obtaining an ankle sprain injury, it is very important to allow your body enough rest to heal. Try not to move your ankle too much as this can create further strain on the injured area. If you have severe pain, you may use crutches to ease into putting force upon your ankle.

Ice

 Ice should be applied immediately. Ice helps to reduce inflammation. It is recommended to take a thin towel or washcloth and cover your ankle with it. Then place the ice or ice pack for 10-20 minutes at a time. Try to ice your ankle at least 3-4 times per day. 

Compression

Take an elastic bandage and wrap around your ankle as well as part of your foot for support. Pressure helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as pain. Do not wrap your ankle too tight, or you will cut off the necessary and healing blood supply. 

Elevation

 Sit or lie down with a pillow underneath your ankle or foot. The most essential part of elevating your ankle is to have it above the level of your heart. Once again, this is to prevent inflammation and to allow your sprain to heal correctly. In the beginning, you may need to entirely lie down. Still, after a few days, you may be able to do this periodically from a sitting position. 

Pain management/Rehab

In some cases, rehab may be needed for intense sprain injuries, but this is not always the case. For pain management, light stretching and over the counter medications can be helpful

When to contact a medical professional

 Sprained ankles do not always need to be addressed by a medical professional. If your pain worsens within 5-7 days or does not improve at all, it is recommended to seek an opinion. They may advise you on stretching or strengthening exercises.