How often should I ice my sprained ankle?

This is a very important question. Since you want your sprained ankle to heal as quickly as possible, you might be tempted to leave ice on your ankle for hours at a time. But while icing an ankle can greatly reduce the swelling, it can also cause nerve damage if the ice pack is left on too long. 

Here are some guidelines for the most effective way to use ice in easing the pain of a sprained ankle:

  • How long? Ice should only be left on your injured ankle for up to 20 minutes at a time. As a general rule, you should remove the ice when your skin feels numb.
  • How often? You should use ice treatments every 2 to 4 hours in the first 3 days after your injury. 
  • Should I wrap my ankle with ice? Yes. The ice pack method is the best way to do this. Fill a plastic bag halfway with crushed ice, and wrap a thin cloth around your injured ankle. Place the ice pack over the ankle and wrap a bandage around it to keep it in place.
  • What’s a slush bath? A slush bath might work best for severe sprains or extreme swelling. Fill a large bucket with water and crushed ice, and place your ankle in the bucket until it is numb. 
  • What else? If you have a small, localized sprain, you may consider an ice massages. Wrap an ice cube in a tea towel with one end exposed. Rub the uncovered end of the ice cube slowly over the sprained area using a circular motion. Don’t hold the ice on any one spot for longer than 30 seconds.

For a personalized diagnosis and treatment plan, contact the trusted podiatrists at Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville.

Athlete's Foot

Also called “tinea pedis”, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that commonly appears between the toes and sometimes on other parts of the feet. It causes an itching, stinging sensation and is contagious. See a doctor if your condition doesn’t improve or gets worse.

Diabetes

One complication of diabetes is a tendency to foot problems. Diabetics can be afflicted with diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, two serious conditions. Also, when a diabetic acquires one of the more common foot problems like athlete’s foot or bunions, they are more likely to become infected and/or lead to serious complications.

Ankle Sprain

An estimated 25,000 people experience an ankle sprain each day, making this injury one of the most common. Anyone of any age can sprain an ankle, whether playing sports or just walking on an uneven surface. Because a sprain can be more serious than you first think, you need a doctor to diagnose this injury.

Flat Feet

The condition known as flat feet, sometimes also called “fallen arches”, is a common problem. Although usually painless, this condition can cause problems with your knees and ankles. If your flat feet are causing you pain, you should have this condition checked out.

Hammertoes

When the toe is permanently bent in a claw-like position, it is called hammertoe. Usually appearing in the second toe, hammertoe is often caused by ill-fitting shoes. This condition can and should be treated by a podiatrist as early on as possible to avoid surgery.

Bunions

If you suffer from bunions, you know how painful they can become. These bony enlargements, usually occurring at the base of the big toe, can cause the big toe to turn inward towards the other toes. Whether caused by genetics, arthritis or years of ill-fitting shoes, bunions can be treated successfully.

Plantar Warts

Warts can come in all different shapes and sizes, especially on the foot and toes. Warts are very hard to treat, but a proper medical diagnosis and consistent treatment can help you get rid of this painful, ugly virus.

Corns

Caused by pressure or rubbing on the skin, corns are usually formed when shoes fit improperly. While very annoying, corns can be treated very successfully. Seeing a podiatrist should be the first step to relief.

Heel Spurs

When a hook of bone forms on the heel bone, it is called a heel spur. This condition is sometimes linked with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue in the arch of the foot. Heel spurs can be painful, but there are many successful treatments.

Sclerosis - Scleroderma

This disorder results in the hardening and inflammation of many organs in the body. In most cases of scleroderma, the indications of the disease are seen on the skin; with symmetrical skin-thickening, discoloration, and/or lesions.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-Rich Plasma is an increasingly popular treatment used at Healthmark Foot and Ankle for healing and recovery from injury.