If you have an ankle sprain it is important to act quickly. Many bad sprains can take longer to heal than a broken bone.

The recommended treatment is to follow the R.I.C.E treatment protocol (Rest, Ice. Compression, Elevation) and stop any activity and protect the ankle from further injury. Basically, sit down or get off of it and don’t attempt to walk on it. If you have crutches available, use at least one crutch.

Apply a compression wrap and ice to keep swelling to a minimum. Ice should be used for about 15 minutes at a time and then removed. Leaving ice on any longer can risk frost-burn and cause tissue damage. Also. keep your foot and leg elevated to decrease the blood flow (and swelling) in the ankle.

Use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication to help control inflammation. Studies have found that patients using NSAIDs after ankle sprains had less pain, had decreased swelling, and had a more rapid return to activity than those who didn’t take any medication.