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A 44-year-old member asked:

Doctors can you tell me when should i use ice and when should i use heat on a sprained ankle?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
RICE: Rice. Rest- 24 to 28 hrs. Avoid activities that require use of your ankle. Ice- for first 2 days after injury, apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours. A bag of frozen peas is good. Compression- you can wrap your foot, ankle & lower leg with an ace wrap. Make sure it is not so tight that it decreases your circulation. Elevate- elevate ankle above your heart. Can prop on a pillow.

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Similar questions

A 41-year-old member asked:

Do you use heat or cold for a sprained ankle?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Haleh Agdassi
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 26 years experience
Ice is best: Ice is best in the first 24-72 hours following an ankle sprain. This helps decrease the swelling and inflammation which in turn decreases the pain. Do not leave the ice on for more than 15-20minutes. Use a towel to protect your skin against the ice. This can be repeated several x day. Price (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation). *if pain continues or worsens please see your doctor.
A 46-year-old member asked:

Do you think I should apply ice or heat to a sprained ankle?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Grace Torres-hodges
Podiatry 23 years experience
RICE when acute: If you just sprained your ankle, follow the rice protocol - rest, ice, compression and elevate. Also follow-up with a foot/ankle specialist to have the injury examined. Even if you can walk on it, it won't hurt to have it checked properly.
CA
A 46-year-old male asked:

How does ice help a sprained ankle?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stuart Hickerson
Family Medicine 32 years experience
Ice: In the first 6 to 12 hours of a an injury ice can act as an anti-inflammatory.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How can I tell if my sprained ankle is serious?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Newman
Podiatry 32 years experience
Listen to your body: If you have swelling, bruising, pain and difficultly walking on it you may have more than a minor ankle sprain. I suggest you see your doctor and have x-rays taken.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me how i can recover from a sprained ankle?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Brown
Hand Surgery 39 years experience
Immobilization: Splinting and non-weight bearing are the key initial treatments along with icing to allow for healing. Extent of ligament injury will determine the ability to heal, if completely torn may require surgical reconstruction. See an orthopedic surgeon.

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Last updated Oct 22, 2016

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