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Treating a rolled ankle

February 13th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries

A rolled ankle is an injury that happens when twisting, rolling or awkward turning of the ankle. It stretches or cause tearing of the ligaments that functions in holding the ankle bones together. A rolled ankle happens when the ligaments are stretched beyond the normal range of movements.

Symptoms of rolled ankle

  • Tenderness when touching the affected ankle
  • Ankle pain when applying weight on the foot
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • The ankle becomes unstable
  • Limited range of movement
  • Popping sound can be heard after the injury

    rolled ankle

    Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours to lessen the swelling and the pain.


  • Falling from a height that causes twisting of the ankle
  • Walking or exercising on an uneven surface
  • Awkward landing of the foot after a jump or pivot
  • Another person landing or stepping on the foot during a sports activity


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected ankle. Avoid walking as much as possible while still in the healing stage for fast healing of the condition.
  • Utilize crutches to support the area and distribute the weight and maintain balance while moving around. Another alternative is an elastic ankle brace to make the area stable and lessen the swelling while healing for at least 2-6 weeks
  • Place few ice cubes in plastic bag; wrap it with towel or a cloth before placing to the area for at least 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours to lessen the pain and the swelling. Another alternative is filling a bucket with ice water, and then soak the affected foot and ankle is also good for the condition. Avoid ice when the affected person is diabetic or problems with circulations.
  • The prescribed over-the-counter medications must be taken to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Compress the area using an elastic bandage or brace to reduce the swelling. Wrap around the ankle and foot and secure with medical tape. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation. If the skin under the wrap becomes blue, cold and numb, loosen the wraps.
  • Elevate the area above the level of heart at least for 2-3 hours every day until swelling and bruising subsides.
  • When the ankle is healed, perform some gentle exercises with guidance from a physical therapist for rehabilitation exercises to reinforce the ligaments and restore range of movement of the ankle which will depend on the severity of the injury.


  • Perform proper warm up before starting an exercise or exerting the body.
  • Wear an ankle brace when performing exercises.
  • Wear appropriate shoes while exercising for stability of the ankles and comfort.
  • Continue ankle stretches and exercise even if the area is totally healed to make more flexible, strong and prevent any injury in the future.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a rolled ankle is for learning purposes only. To learn to properly manage this injury, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

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