Ankle Sprain Home Care

COMPRESSION (2 methods)

    • It should be comfortably snug.

    • Remove it before going to sleep.

    • Loosen it if it feels too tight, if there is tingling or pain in your foot or toes, or if it is causing your foot or toes to swell.


Your clinician may choose to use an ankle brace that provides compression and support instead of or in addition to an Ace wrap.

ICE (Choose 1 of 2 methods)

  1. Apply an ice bag (if necessary, substitute ice cubes or crushed ice in a Ziploc bag or a partially defrosted frozen vegetable bag) for 10-15 minutes every 3 hours while awake.  Put a clean wash cloth between the ice bag and your skin to prevent your skin from geting an ice burn.

  2. Immerse your ankle in 12 inches of ice water (approximately 48o F.) for 15 minutes every 3 hours while you are awake. For example: Use a wastebasket and 2 trays of ice cubes.

CAUTION:  Don’t overdo it.  Skin damage can occur from over-icing.


Elevate your ankle higher than your heart as much as you can.  If your ankle is not elevated higher than your heart, blood and fluid will accumulate, causing more swelling.


  1. If your ankle is too painful to walk on, use the crutches provided and do not bear weight on the injured ankle.

  2. If it is not too painful to walk on, it is all right to walk on it carefully.


  • Make an appointment to return according to clinician’s instruction.

  • REHAB EXERCISES: After 5-7 days or when the pain has subsided sufficiently, do one of the following “sets” of exercises twice a day for 2-3 weeks.

Set Number 1

Range of motion Exercises, 15 times in each direction as indicated, twice a day.

1. Flexion: Slowly pull foot foward, pointing to ceiling as far possible; fold for 5 seconds.

legs hanging over a table with toes of feet pointing up

2. Extension: Slowly push foot downward, pointing toes toward floor as rar as possible; hold for 5 seconds.

legs hanging over table, point toes down to floor

3. Inversion: Turn soles of feet inward toward each other, keeping legs still.

Dangle legs over a table, point toes down, turn soles of feet inward

4. Eversion: Turn soles away from each other, keeping legs still.

legs dangling down from table, keep legs still and turn feet away from each other

Set Number 2

ALPHABET WRITING: Sit on table with knee straight and only ankle extended over end of table as shown. Print in capital letters the entire alphabet with foot. Perform full alphabet twice daily

tracing alphabet with one foot, using the big toe