A sprained ankle is a common injury that can happen to anyone, from athletes, to the average person going about their daily activities. This usually happens when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn due to sudden twisting, rolling or turning of the foot. While severe cases of sprained ankles may require medical attention, mild to moderate sprains can often be effectively managed with home remedies.
How To Safely Treat Sprained Ankles At Home?
- Using the R.I.C.E Method
One of the most well established and helpful methods for treating a sprained ankle at home is R.I.C.E which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- Rest: the first step is to allow your ankle to rest. Avoid putting something heavy on it or stressing it by walking instead use crutches or a brace to assist if you desire to make movement.
- Ice: applying ice to an injured area can help reduce pain and swelling. Use an Ice pack or wrap ice in a thin cloth and apply it to the ankle for 15 to 20 minutes every hour, for the first 48 hours after the injury.
- Compression: wrapping the sprained ankle with an elastic bandage can help reduce swelling and provide support. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly, as this could restrict blood flow.
- Elevation: elevating the ankle above the level of the heart when resting can also reduce swelling. Try to always pop your foot up with pillows or cushions for the best soothing relief.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent. It contains curcumin, which has been studied for its potential benefits in reducing inflammation. Follow this simple procedure to prepare a paste of turmeric for treating sprained ankle: get turmeric powder, add little water to form paste and apply to the affected area. This will help to alleviate pain and promote healing faster than expected.
Ginger is another natural anti-inflammatory spice that can be beneficial and pain relieving in the treatment of sprained ankles. Ginger tea or ginger poultice can be used to reduce swelling and pains.
Follow these easy steps to learn how ginger can be used to treat sprained ankles: grate fresh ginger, wrap it in a clean cloth, and apply it to the sprained ankle. This method gives instant effective results.
4. Epsom salt soak
Epsom salt is well known for its ability to relieve muscle aches and reduce swelling and pain. Soaking your sprained ankle in epsom salt can provide relief. Add a few tablespoons of epsom salt to warm water and soak your foot for 15 to 20 minutes. Ensure to be time conscious and keep to the stipulated time for fast response.
Arnica is an herbal remedy that has been traditionally used for treating bruises and sprain. Arnica creams or gel can be applied topically to the injured area to reduce pain and swelling.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that has anti-inflammatory properties. You can either eat the pineapple or take bromelain supplements to help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
Comfrey is an herbal known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. To create comfrey poultice, follow the instruction below: blend comfrey leaves with water and apply it to the sprained ankle. This can help reduce pain and swelling.
8. Castor oil
Castor oil can be used to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Simply massage the sprained ankle with warm castor oil, cover it with a cloth and apply heat using a warm compress. This can be done a few times to alleviate pain and swelling.
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9. Essential oils
Certain essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and frankincense, have anti-inflammatory and pain alleviating properties. Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil and gently massage it onto the sprained ankle.
10. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is known for its pain relieving components. Cayenne pepper poultice can be made by adding cayenne pepper with water to form a paste and applying it to the sprained area. Be cautious, as it can cause a burning sensation, so use it sparingly.
Acupressure can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Gently apply pressure to specific acupressure points around the ankle. This can be done with your fingers or by using specialised acupressure tools.
Stretching and strengthening exercise should be done once the pain and swelling of the sprained ankle has subsided to help improve the flexibility and stability of the ankle.
Using the above home remedies for treating sprained ankles is effective for mild and moderate conditions. Severe injuries should be directed to professional healthcare providers.