Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I ice a ligament sprain?"
How should I treat a sprain? My ankle looks very swollen.
Usually, sprain will get better with simple care measures. These include taking an anti inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen or naprosyn around the clock for a few days, resting, elevating the leg (to reduce swelling) and applying ice periodically (again to help with swelling). If you do these things, you should find that the worst of the pain and swelling starts to get better in a few days. However, remember that it really does take weeks for a sprain to heal completely, so you may still have some minimal discomfort or swelling, and you should be careful with vigorous physical activity until you are all healed up. If the pain is not getting better or is very severe, or if you have any numbness or tingling in the foot or other concerning symptoms, you should go to see your doctor. These might be signs that you have a more serious injury to the ankle, such as a small fracture or a more serious injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Your doctor will be able to determine if you need further tests (such as X rays) or additional treatments.
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