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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.
Dr. Wenjay Sung
Podiatry 14 years experience
Ice and more ice: Try resting it (for 1-2 weeks), icing, compressing wraps or bracing, and elevating your rolled ankle. Take otc antiinflammatory drugs like advil (ibuprofen) or Motrin as directed by the manufacturer to help. Heat increases swelling and makes the healing process worse. Although the skin feels good, it doesn't help the sprained ankle.

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Similar questions

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.
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.
Abingdon, VA
A 18-year-old female asked:

Does heat or ice help a 4 month old sprained ankle?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bradly Shollenberger
Podiatry 36 years experience
Neither : Ankle pain that has persisted for 4 months needs a professional evaluation. Sprained ligaments should have healed by now. It is likely you have either a bone or joint injury. See a podiatrist for an evaluation and discussion of treatment options.
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 33-year-old member asked:

I think i sprained my ankle. Help?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Kass
Podiatry 28 years experience
R.I.C.E: Rest Ice Compression Elevation take an anti-inflammatory if no contraindication.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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