ZocdocAnswersIs there anything I can do to help my sprained ankle heal other than rest?

Question

Is there anything I can do to help my sprained ankle heal other than rest?

Sprained my ankle pretty bad playing basketball. Is there any way to make it heal other than staying off of it? Should I wrap it in medical tape or something? How long does a sprain usually take to heal.

Answer

If you are experiencing significant pain or swelling of the ankle and you have not seen your doctor yet, I recommend that you do so. Sometimes, what is thought to be a sprain is actually a small break in a bone n the ankle, and it is important to evaluate for that with a physical examination and, sometimes, x-rays as well. Also, it is important to evaluate for any signs of ligament tear or severe injure, which might be indications to see an orthopedic doctor. Assuming this is just a simple sprain, then the mainstay of treatment is anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, ice, and rest. In particular, it is very important to not go back to any sports activity until the ankle is totally healed, as injuring an ankle that is already sprained and not completely healed can predispose to chronic ankle pain and instability. Based on what your doctor finds, they may also recommend an ankle brace to help stabilize the ankle and relieve discomfort. They may also recommend crutches to help you recover more quickly. If they find any evidence of a serious injury, they will make a referral to an orthopedic doctor or a sports medicine clinic for more follow up.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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