Ways to Temporarily Relieve a Foot Sprain

A mild or severe foot sprain, also known as an ankle sprain, is a common injury that involves overstretching or damaging the ligaments along the ankle while standing up, walking or running. This injury often results from turning, twisting or rolling the foot, or a traumatizing impact to the area.

The usual symptoms of a foot sprain are ankle pain, foot pain, swelling and bruising. Some symptoms initially remain hidden, such as underlying bleeding that has yet to rise to the surface of the skin as a bruise. It is important that both hidden and non-hidden symptoms are temporarily treated until a doctor can examine the injury, as re-injury or lasting damage can occur.

Health care professionals such as Providence Orthopaedics usually recommend one of three methods to relieve the symptoms of a sprained ankle temporarily:

The R.I.C.E. Method

Rest: Healing requires rest and an injured person shouldn’t attempt to walk initially. Instead, he should ask someone to help with tasks that require walking and use crutches if he has them.

Ice: Another thing he should do is apply a cold ice packet to the injured area for approximately 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day with two hours separating each treatment.

Compress: A compression bandage can also help. By applying pressure to the area, an injured person can reduce swelling and bleeding and support the ligaments and joint to prevent re-injury.

Elevation: As part of resting, a person should raise his leg on a pedestal or foot rest above his chest and heart level to reduce swelling by slowing fluids that naturally flow into the ankle and foot.

The P.R.I.C.E Method

Another method uses the R.I.C.E. method as its foundation, but includes an extra treatment for relief: Protection.

Protection is a splint, brace, tape or a combination of tools used to stabilize and protect the area during at least the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury.

The P.R.I.N.C.E Method

This method adds another treatment to the list: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS).

A certain class of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, that includes naproxen and ibuprofen, are designed to rapidly reduce swelling and lessen pain.

Whatever combination of treatments a person decides to use, the level of temporary relief depends mostly on the extent of the injury and the mindset of the injured person.

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Basic First Aid : How to Treat a Foot Sprain