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What does R.I.C.E have to do with a sprained ankle?

R.I.C.E. Rest Ice Compression Elevation. Stepping off a curb inadvertently, landing on it wrong, stepping on someone’s foot, avoiding smashing your dog/cat, the list goes on how you can sprain your ankle. What was mine? Demonstrating a exercise. Yes, I (a personal trainer) sprained my ankle demonstrating a exercise. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad, but it did get swollen. Things like this happen. So what are things you can do to speed up the recovery process?

First, is to REST. This is accomplished by not putting weight on the area. When you have a sprained ankle, what does a doctor give you? Crutches. Making sure you put as little weight as possible during the initial stage of the trauma. However, for a minor tweak, there’s no need to visit the ER and you just want to wait it out. So in this case, you want to rest the ankle as much as you can and avoid activities that can cause more harm.

Secondly, when you have a acute injury, ICE the area. The body’s natural reaction is to PROTECT, so it creates swelling around the area of trauma to prevent further damage. Isn’t that awesome? Well, I think it is. Ice has a numbing effect, so it helps with pain management. This is beneficial so you can sleep through the night. Also, ice helps with decreasing inflammation. When you sprain your ankle, sometimes wearing shoes is difficult. So if you want to wear those nice J’s (Jordans for those that are unfamiliar) or Louboutins, I suggest icing asap. At least for 15-30 minutes.

Thirdly, is to apply COMPRESSION. You can accomplish this by wearing a protective brace/sleeve to minimize swelling. I have a ankle sleeve from 15 years ago I purchased from the years of playing basketball. Comes in handy when you need it. Also, compression secures the ice on the area. What I recommend is a ACE bandage (you can buy this at your local store):

ACE Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure, 3 Inches Width (Pack of 2)

Lastly, is ELEVATION. For a sprained ankle, all the blood is concentrated around the foot. So, you need to let that blood pool back down. By lying down and lifting the leg up above the heart, the blood will slowly get back down. It’s not completely going to go away, but it will help to decrease the swelling.

Ultimately, injuries happen and you want to be prepared. Whether it happens to you or someone else, its always good to have the knowledge and the know-how. By applying R.I.C.E, you have the tools to properly heal a sprained ankle. Hope you liked this week’s blog. Stay tuned fore more next Wed……………………..Kei

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