What to do for a sprained ankle and foot?

So, you’ve twisted your ankle like a boss and the pain is crippling. What should you do? No need to panic because I am here with all the tips and tricks on how to get back on your feet again. Literally.

Assessing The Damage

First order of business, figure out just how bad it is so that we can proceed accordingly. Remember RICE: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.


Resting means avoiding any injury-provoking activity while protecting the injured region from further harm. Basically, no dance-offs in your near future (sad face).


Applying ice onto the inflamed area helps by constricting blood vessels thus reducing swelling around the affected joint or muscle group. Fill up an ice bath (no margarita mix allowed) or wrap some frozen peas in a towel (Or not), then elevate Part A so that gravity works its magic..hold tight! Error: Never incorporate Magic into Medical procedures!


Compression simply means wrapping Band-aid tightly over an elastic bandage which will help contain swelling surrounding your now grumpy joint


Elevating said-sprained body part(s) above heart level produces enhanced venous return decreasing edema/swelling.

Pain Control

Believe me when I say this because I’ve got experience dealing with multiple injuries – You are going to need some pain relief medication buddy; hot damn that’s one swollen AF ankle. Here’s what you could try:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-(NSAIDs)
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

I’d recommend leading towards NSAIDs since they will suck-up inflammation too!

Healing The Injury

Okay look if you were outside Balboa gym working out but instead rolled an ankle and you’re now half crawling, half hobbling out of that forest preserve with jacked-up lower extremity muscles then keep reading.


Rehabilitation involves resting while adhering to a specific exercise protocol aiming to promote mobility for the affected joint/muscle group(s)

Pain-Free Range Of Motion Exercises

Several exercises focus on maintaining and/or achieving normal range of motion must be initiated as early as possible without causing pain.

Strengthening Strategies

Without compromising progress or efforts put forth thus far two types of exercises can work well: isometric (contract muscle without movement) & isotonic(perform similar squats )

When To Seek Medical Help

“It’s a sprain bro”- Every r/NBA fan watching their team lose R1 playoffs. However if your foot looks like it’s actually made from dough… please go see someone.

  • You may have heard this before – but still going to say it anyway – Go see somebody if you start experiencing sharp intense/severe persistent pain.

  • If prolonged or worsening swelling persists despite rehab/ice/chilling (Jokes..cool, get off my back!)

  • If there are any neurovascular complications for example Persistent paresthesia(Pins & needles sensation), blister formation, etc.

Radford Method For Ankle Sprains

The Radford method involves four stages of treatment lasting three days each employing techniques such as rest, compression, cryotherapy an electrical stimulation methods which aim at enhancing recovery rates; combine these steps with NSAIDs!

Radford Method Table

In summary dealing with swollen joints/sprained ankles/fatigue caused by actively participating in certain physical activities can suck but implementing the appropriate Regime- Ice+NSAIDs+ Rest + Compression + Elevation should help make things better along with rehabilitation strategies specified above. And As always if you have any exacerbations or feel bad please go see somebody professional (hold your horses – not Ghostbusters).

Remember, in moments like this be careful to avoid aggravating your injury further!