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Health Tip: Caring for an Ankle Sprain

Use RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation)

(HealthDay News) -- You can sprain an ankle during just about any activity, even walking. A sprain occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle become stretched beyond their normal range, or torn.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers this list of possible non-surgical treatments for a sprained ankle:

  • Take it easy and allow your ankle to heal. Depending on the sprain's severity, healing generally takes four weeks to six weeks.
  • Use RICE -- rest, ice, compression and elevation.
  • If swelling and pain make it tough to walk, use crutches for a few days to help you get around.
  • For some types of ankle sprains, your doctor may recommend an air splint or castboot.
  • Rehabilitation therapy may be prescribed to help prevent chronic problems.
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