Treating a Sprained Ankle: How to Use the R.I.C.E. Treatment for Muscle, Tendon & Ligament Injuries by Dawn Taylor
My job as a personal trainer and fitness class instructor means I give out a lot of tips about how to perform an exercise, how to lose weight and how to stay on track with wellness goals. Often I advise people to take it easy after an injury, and help them ease back into their fitness programs. I have to use the same approach on my own health and wellness, too.
Recently I sprained my ankle at the end of my steps class. In a spectacular fall from the step (and grace!) I twisted my ankle on the landing. My class joked we should've started our stretching sooner and not had that last set! After a visit to the emergency room, I was given the good news that nothing was broken, but nevertheless a sprain is very painful (sometimes more so than fractures) and needs care.
There is a simple, tried-and-true regimen that works and I use it myself every time. Think R.I.C.E.
- Rest the injured area. Avoid moving it and try to keep weight off it. Use splints, braces, canes or crutches when available.
- Ice the injury for 20 minutes four to eight times a day. This is especially necessary within the first three days. Never allow ice or the ice pack to touch the skin directly.
- Compression is effective for up to one week. Wrap the bandage tightly enough to support the area, without cutting off blood flow.
- Elevation reduces swelling and bruising by making it more difficult for blood to reach the injury. Experts say it is best to elevate the area for two to three hours a day.
R.I.C.E. is an effective and simple way to get back on your feet. Another bit of advice I give, and find the hardest to live by, is to return to activities with caution so that you don't end up with a more serious injury. Ease into things and if you have physical therapy prescribed, follow it religiously as it helps to strengthen the injured area and readies it for a return to regular exercise.
Follow up with a medical professional if symptoms or pain worsen.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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