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Monday, May 23, 2011

RICE therapy following Ankle Sprains

     Following an Ankle Sprain, it is important to create a painfree environment. The keys components have been taught in High School and College Health Classes forever.


Rest is a four lettered word to most athletes, but crucial in minimizing the re-aggravation of the ankle. Rest is created by whatever it takes to make the ankle painfree. This may be crutches, removable cast, ankle brace, limited activity, and/or completely getting off the foot involved. The first 4 days after a sprain is the most crucial time to chill out. Yet, since no one can really be sure 100% of the time what is wrong, the first 2 to 3 weeks following a sprain should be relatively painfree.

Ice for 96 hours following a sprain is crucial. You can refer the previous link on application of ice below. Yet, ice is used for months and months in a typical sprain, it is just knowing when to use it.

Compression is also crucial. The product seen in the video is Tubigrip, but a common substitute is an Ace Wrap. The secret to compression is to put more compression below and less compression above the ankle. This may require some tape of some type to hold on the wrap above the ankle. Make sure this tape is not wrapped all the way around.

Elevation even 1 inch off the floor is very beneficial. As long as it is comfortable, and as long as there is swelling, try to elevate the foot and ankle as much as possible. Super Elevation once a day for 30 minutes is very important. Super Elevation is where you lie on the floor and elevate your foot on the wall or couch 3 feet above your heart. Combine this with compression and gentle nonpainful range of motion of the ankle and the swelling will improve the most.


  1. Good guide on the ankle sprain therapy. People should know how to do this by themselves, though as much as possible, PT's should be involved in the process.

  2. The RICE procedure for treating ankle sprain is effective. Even professional sports utilize that first aid.


Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.