18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle



A sprain occurs when a ligament is torn or injured. As such, a sprained ankle is the twisting, tearing or injuring of the ankle ligament. A ligament is a tough band of tissue that connects bone to bone. Ligaments are present in your joints to stabilize them. They also prevent excessive movement of the joints and this is why you cannot rotate your joints altogether. However, among all joint injuries, a sprained ankle is very common.

Sprained ankle occurs when there is an overload on ligaments’ regular movements. It can occur when walking or running on bumpy grounds, lifting heavy weights, wearing high-heel shoes and due to accidents.



Some of the common symptoms of sprained ankle may include;

  • sudden pain after twisting or rolling the ankle
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to walk with a normal gait
  • Tenderness when touched
  • Limited range of motion in the ankle joint

In addition to these symptoms, an ankle fracture might also include:

  • Pain and swelling that does not reduce after a day or two
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured leg
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Reduced circulation

If there is any doubt about whether your ankle is sprained or fractured, seek medical attention immediately. However, a sprain can range from mild to severe. While a sprained ankle will sometimes require medical attention, for minor injuries, home remedies may do the trick. Keep scrolling to find out how!

RICE Technique For A Sprained Ankle

This is the first-aid treatment when you get a sprained ankle. RICE- which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When you do all this in the first 48 hours, the time needed to recover gets shortened. It also helps in alleviating pain and general discomfort. Here’s what you must do.

1. Rest your Ankle

Give your ankle rest by avoiding any activity that may cause pain, swelling etc. This doesn’t mean, you have to be on bed rest. Just that you need to avoid using the muscles and tissues of the injured area as far as possible. For example, if you usually walk for long distances, avoid such walking. While exercising, don’t use the injured arm. The idea is to still move your body but avoid moving the sprained ankle.

2. Ice the Affected Area

If you apply ice immediately after injuring your ankle, there are chances that you may not get any swelling. Applying ice or a cold pack every 1-2 hours for 10-20 minutes is desirable to reduce pain and swelling. You must repeat this ice treatment for the first 24-48 hours.

Cold perhaps is the most efficient method to reduce inflammation and pain associated with increased blood flow or blood loss. However, don’t apply ice directly to your skin. Always wrap the ice in a cloth or a towel. If the area around your sprained ankle turns white, stop applying any remedy including ice and visit your doctor.

Also if you suffer from some vascular disease, diabetes or have a decreased sense of sensation, consult your doctor before you give yourself an ice treatment.

3. Compression

Wrapping your affected area with an elastic bandage helps reduce swelling. Wrapping a bandage too tightly, however, can result in adverse effect by disrupting proper blood circulation. Elastic bandages, when not purposefully tied tightly, can give you exact compression without hindering circulation. Sometimes, however, your pain might increase after wrapping the injured area. If this happens, loosen the bandage some more or remove it altogether. Pay a visit to your doctor.

4. Elevation

Elevating your sprained ankle reduces swelling by increasing venous return of blood to your systemic circulation. This helps avoid accumulation of fluid. Keep your leg elevated while sitting or lying down. When you lie down, use pillows and cushions to keep it above the level of your heart.

Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

5. Arnica for Sprained Ankle

18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

This herb is an excellent sports medicine. It is also the most used homoeopathic treatment for swellings and pain. Arnica, a mountain herb, belongs to the sunflower family and is often used for sprains, muscle pains, dislocation, bruises etc.

Arnica has anti-inflammatory and also anti-bacterial properties. It also has the ability to expel excess fluids from joints and muscles. It can be in a form of cream, salve, oil or tincture. However, you can make arnica salve at home for keeping it all natural! Here’s how!

Ingredients

  • Dried arnica Montana flowers- 1- ½ cups
  • Coconut oil- 2 cups
  • Beeswax granules- ½ cup
  • Essential oil (any like rosemary or peppermint)- ¼ tsp
  • Lavender essential oil- ¼ tsp
  • Double boiler or a crock pot
  • Cheesecloth
  • Mason jar

How to Use

  • Take the arnica flowers and crunch them up with your hands.
  • Place the herb in the double boiler or crock pot.
  • Pour coconut oil to cover the herb altogether.
  • Cover and allow it to infuse on low heat if using a double boiler and on warm setting if using a crock pot.
  • Let them sit for 12-24 hours. You may stir in between several times.
  • After 12-24 hours, turn off your instrument and allow the mixture to cool down for about 1 hour.
  • While the coconut oil is still in liquid form, place the cheesecloth over the jar and pour the oil mixture over it.
  • After straining arnica, place the infused oil again into the double boiler and set it to low heat.
  • Now add the beeswax and whisk till it gets dissolved.
  • After the whole things melt into the oil, remove it from heat and allow to cool down for a while and mix the essential oils.
  • Store the salve in your choice of container.
  • Apply it on your sprained ankle when required.

6. Lavender Oil

18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

Lavender oil is a universal essential oil. It is widely used for healing various ailments. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This makes it the perfect remedy for treating ankle sprains.

Ingredients

  • 12 drops of lavender oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil

How to Use

  • Add 12 drops of lavender oil to 30 mL of any carrier oil and mix well.
  • Apply this mixture to the affected area.
  • Leave it on for at least 40 to 60 minutes and then wash it off.
  • Do this once daily.

7. Olive Oil for Sprained Ankle

7. Olive Oil for Sprained Ankle

The amazing benefits of olive oil are well known in taking care of women’s beauty. But it can also be the great natural remedy for sprained ankle. This is because of its phenolic compound which can reduce inflammation and enhance recovery.

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons of olive oil
  • An egg yolk
  • Bandage

How to Use

  • Mix the olive oil with the egg yolk together.
  • Apply the mixture over the affected area, gently massage.
  • Then cover it using a bandage.
  • Remove it after 2 days and do this remedy for a few times.

Or

  • You also can massage the skin with olive oil to relax the muscle and tissue.
  • Do it for 15- 20 minutes, 2 times everyday.
  • You will see better results in a few weeks.

8. Castor Oil

18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

Castor oil contains a compound called ricinoleic acid. This has anti-inflammatory properties. These properties, in combination with the heat, reduce the pain and inflammation.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of castor oil
  • A hot water bottle

How to Use

  • Apply a tablespoon of castor oil to your ankle.
  • Place a hot water bottle on it and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Repeat a couple of times.
  • Follow this procedure once daily for a few weeks.

9. Turmeric for Sprained Ankle

9. Turmeric for Sprained Ankle

Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and also antiseptic properties. It has been used to treat swelling, inflammation and joint pains. The most important compound of turmeric is curcumin. Researches have shown that curcumin eliminates nitric oxide and inhibits COX-2 which is a pro-inflammatory substance. Using turmeric can give you relief from the associated discomforts of a sprained ankle.

Ingredients

  • Turmeric- 1-2 teaspoon
  • Water

How to Use

  • Add enough water to turmeric to get a smooth paste.
  • Warm this paste a little.
  • Apply this to your sprained ankle, preferably at night.
  • Wrap a cloth or an elastic bandage over this turmeric poultice.
  • If not applying at night, let it sit for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water.
  • Remember, turmeric will leave stains on anything which comes to its contact.

10. Garlic Juice

18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

Garlic is an instant home remedy for sprained ankles due to its anti- inflammation effect. It soothes pain, improves the healing process, and also boosts the immune system.



Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of garlic juice
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil

How to Use

  • Clean the affected skin with lukewarm water then dry it.
  • Add the garlic juice to the coconut oil in a small cup.
  • Mix them together evenly.
  • Massage the skin gently with this mixture for 10 minutes then wash it with warm water.
  • Repeat this remedy twice daily for 2- 3 weeks.

Note: You can also mix 2 teaspoons of garlic juice with 2 teaspoons of almond oil and rub the skin with it.

11. Ginger for Sprained Ankle

11. Ginger for Sprained Ankle

Ginger has many properties that are beneficial to overall health and that’s why it occupies such an important place not only in cuisines but in traditional medicine too. Along with being a fine antioxidant, ginger also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-inflammatory compounds are called gingerols. Gingerols are so effective that they help reduce pain. You can use ginger for sprained ankles in various ways but the best is detailed below.

Ginger Compress

Ingredients

  • Fresh ginger root- 2-3 inch piece
  • Water- 6-8 cups
  • Washcloth

How to Use

  • Slice the ginger root.
  • Place the sliced ginger pieces in a pot.
  • Pour the water over them.
  • Let it boil for 5-7 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool down until it becomes warm.
  • Soak a washcloth in this warm ginger water.
  • Wrap it on your ankle.
  • Keep the water warm. Too hot water may damage tissues and irritate your skin.

Note: Do not use warm compress before 2-3 days of injuring your ankle.

Ginger Poultice

Ingredients

  • Dry ginger powder- 3-4 tbsp
  • Water

How to Use

  • Add enough water to ginger powder so that you get a smooth paste.
  • You may also use fresh ginger root to make a paste. Just grind it with some water.
  • Now apply this to your swollen ankle.
  • The paste will dry off in some time. You may also use a bandage to keep the paste in a place.
  • Leave it for 6-7 hours.
  • Wash off. Your swelling will reduce to a great extent.
  • If needed, repeat it again. You may also apply this at night before going to bed.

12. Potato

Potato is another ingredient that is used for treating sprains. This is because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes the swelling, inflammation and also pain associated with the condition.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 boiled potatoes
  • A clean washcloth

How to Use

  • Boil two potatoes and mash them immediately.
  • Place the mashed potatoes in a clean washcloth and tie it up.
  • Wrap this washcloth over the affected area.
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

13. Aloe Vera for Sprained Ankle

13. Aloe Vera for Sprained Ankle

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and excellent healing properties. Because of these, this herb is widely used for sports injuries such as soreness of muscles, strains, sprains, bruises etc. Aloe vera also has analgesic properties and eases the pain as well as promotes repair of the damaged tissues.

Ingredients

  • Fresh aloe vera leaf
  • Gauze or towel
  • Ice (optional)
  • Glycerin (optional)

How to Use

  • Cut open the aloe leaf to expose its gel.
  • Soak the gauze in this gel.
  • Wrap the gauze onto the sprained ankle.
  • You can even use ice along with aloe gel.
  • For this, soak the towel with aloe gel and place ice in this towel. Now use this pack on your ankle.
  • When you see that gauze or towel is drying out, soak it again in aloe gel and reapply.
  • Do this for about 30-60 minutes.
  • You can even apply aloe gel directly on the affected area.
  • In this case, if you find the aloe gel too thin and if it runs off the skin, add some glycerin to make it a little thicker.

14. Epsom salt

Epsom salt has soothing effect on joint pains and swellings. It also reduces inflammation effectively.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt
  • Bath tub

How to Use

  • Add the Epsom salt to a hot water tub or in your hot water bath tub.
  • Then soak your sprained ankle joint to get some quick relief from irritating pain.
  • You can do this once or twice a day.

15. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil has analgesic, antiseptic, astringent and also anti-bacterial properties among many others. It helps relieve pain in muscles and joints such as those from sprains. One of its very useful property is growing connective tissues and ligaments and thus is a perfect remedy for a sprained ankle.

It also has antiseptic properties which will heal wounds if any that you got while injuring your ankle. It also has astringent properties to help stop the bleeding from wounds. Astringents can constrict blood vessels reducing the flow of blood. However, if you have sensitive skin, you should always dilute it with some carrier oil before applying. Because it may cause rashes.

Ingredients

  • 12 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil

How to Use

  • Mix 12 drops of lemongrass oil with 30 mL of any carrier oil.
  • Apply this over your forearm and other aching areas.
  • Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Wash it off.
  • You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Or

Ingredients

  • Lemongrass oil- 1 part
  • Olive oil- 4 parts

How to Use

  • Add lemongrass oil to the olive oil and mix well.
  • Apply this to your sprained ankle and rub gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Repeat 3-4 times a day.

16. Cabbage leaves

Cabbage has been used as a folk remedy for hundreds of years to soothe painful joints. It is high in vitamins and phytonutrients as well as anthocyanins and also glutamine. Each of these contains anti-inflammatory properties. Due to these, cabbage leaves wrapped around sprained ankle may help with joint pain relief.

Ingredients

  • Fresh cabbage
  • Gauze bandage

How to Use

  • Take a fresh cabbage and peel the outer leaves of the cabbage in 2-3 layers.
  • Bruise them a little with rolling pins to take out its juice.
  • Then wrap the leaves in a foil paper to warm it a little in an oven.
  • Apply them directly on the ankle joint or sprained area.
  • Cover it with gauze bandage properly to retain its warmth and keep it on for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat this remedy twice a day.

17. Rosemary for Sprained Ankle

18 Mighty Home Remedies For A Sprained Ankle

Apart from having antioxidants, rosemary herb has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. This helps get rid of sprains. When you get sprained ankle, the white blood cells produce chemicals to get rid of the damage and there is an increased blood flow towards the damaged site. Certain fluids also rush to the affected area. This leads to redness and swelling.

Rosemary contains this rush of blood and fluid as more of it does harm than good. A tincture made from rosemary leaves can be topically applied to your sprained ankle. Learn how to make Rosemary tincture below.

Ingredients

  • Rosemary leaves
  • Grain alcohol
  • A jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Dark glass bottles

How to Use

  • Chop enough rosemary leaves to almost fill up your jar.
  • Place the chopped rosemary leaves into the jar.
  • Top it with grain alcohol.
  • Cover it with the lid and place in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks.
  • After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs using cheesecloth.
  • Store this rosemary leaves tincture in dark bottles.
  • Apply on your sprains or strains whenever required.

18. Massage

Gentle massage in recommended too. Massage will increase blood flow to the affected area and hasten cure. It helps improve the movement in the joint and allays pain as well. However, make sure that you visit a licensed registered masseur. You could also use essential oils for the massage. Essential oils have tremendous healing properties which will greatly accelerate cure. Oils such as clove oil, nutmeg oil and ginger oil can be used. It can also help you deal with stiff neck, lower back pain, sore shoulders.

Prevention

There are measures to prevent ankle injury risk such as:

  • Exercise on a regular basis to improve muscle strength.
  • Eat a healthy diet which includes a good variety of nutritious foods.
  • Use well-checked equipment for any sport activities.
  • Always warm-up and stretch your muscles prior to performing exercises or sports activities.

Hope you find this article helpful in treating a sprained ankle. To share your experiences and ideas with us, please use the comment box below.



About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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