Should You Apply Ice Or Heat To Your Injured Ankle?

It can often be confusing to know when to apply ice or heat to an injury, so I wanted to take a moment to discuss the difference between each approach, and when they are appropriate.
One of the things I always do immediately upon sustaining an injury, is to apply arnica cream topically, and to take arnica pellets internally.

This can help to reduce swelling and pain, and is a more natural alternative to Advil or Tylenol. Lavender essential oil applied topically can also help to naturally ease pain and encourage relaxation.

According the UW Health, “Immediately after a injury occurs, ice should then be applied to the ankle and the leg be elevated above the level of the heart for 15 to 20 minutes.
After icing, an elastic bandage should be applied to the ankle to provide compression to minimize swelling.

The combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) should continue for a minimum of 48 to 72 hours.

  • REST – Decrease, modify or eliminate weight-bearing and other painful activities

  • ICE –  Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day

  • COMPRESSION –  Wrap the injured ankle with an elastic bandage

  • ELEVATION – It is difficult for the leg vessels (veins) to remove swelling from the foot and ankle, therefore, elevate the limb higher than the level of the heart

X-rays may be needed when there is tenderness over the ankle bones to rule out a fracture.
The initial inflammation phase is over (usually 48 to 72 hours), moist heat can be used to treat an ankle sprain.

However, heat should not be used when swelling is present. Compression and elevation should continue as long as swelling is present.”

Once swelling and pain is minimal, regular activity can be restored, but take it easy. You will need to give your body time to readjust to more intense activities.
Yours in Good Health,
Trina Kincey ~ Integrative Health Coach ~ Owner of Get Real Wellness, LLC
Thank you,
Ron Heinlein | President/Founder | Cell # 909-215-1622 | heinleinron@yahoo.com
I have been in the footwear business for over 50 years and been trained by the best in the Therapeutic/Orthopedic world.
DTFootwear.com Designer Therapeutic Footwear Co.
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