For ankle injuries that don’t require surgery, there are numerous home remedy options that can help the healing process. Here are the top 5.
- Stretching & Strengthening Exercises – Gently stretching your Achilles heel and ankle will help recondition following an injury. One of the best exercises is the towel stretch. As the pain begins to resolve, standing single leg balancing is one of the best ways to strengthen the muscles, rebuild coordination, and prevent recurring injuries. Working up to 2 minutes in a row per leg is the goal, but remember to start slow.
- Ice – Cold reduces pain and swelling. Ice the injured area for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours, except when asleep. Do this for the first 2-3 days following an ankle injury.
- Elevation – Raising your injured ankle above your heart drains surplus fluid and reduces swelling. This is especially effective when sleeping.
- Rest – With an ankle sprain or other injury, it’s best to avoid activities that cause pain. But don’t stop all activity. Instead, try to work out other muscles without putting too much strain on your injured ankle. For example, using an exercise bike.
- Over the Counter Pain Medication – Taking over the counter pain killers can make ankle pain more manageable during your recovery.
These home remedies are only for minor ankle sprains and injuries. If pain persists, or is beyond bearable, contact a skilled ankle & foot doctor immediately.
Lance Silverman, MD
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