Whether you''ve suffered an urban injury running to catch the bus or a
rural plight exploring a hiking trail, the RICE method--Rest, Ice,
Compress, Elevate-—will get you up and moving again.
Things You''ll Need
Hot waterElastic bandagesTowels
Rest the injured ankle—-in fact, stay off the leg as much as possible.
Ice the injury immediately, applying an ice pack for 20 minutes every
hour until the swelling subsides.
Compress the injured area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling
and immobilize the ankle. Wrap from the foot toward the knee, and be
careful not to wrap so tightly that you cut off circulation.
Elevate the leg above your heart.
Use moist heat once swelling in the area has subsided.
Begin using the ankle again gradually as pain decreases.
Tips & Warnings
It''s sometimes difficult to tell a fracture and a sprain apart. See a
doctor if pain and swelling do not subside after 3 days of self-care.
One day off your feet can get you back in action faster than limping
around for a week on injured ligaments and muscles.
Avoid using heat while the area is swollen—you want to reduce blood
flow to the area, not encourage it.