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How to Manage Pain After Twisting Your Ankle

How to Manage Pain After Twisting Your Ankle

Twisting your ankle 一 also referred to as a sprained ankle 一 is one of the most common ankle injuries with over two million Americans diagnosed each year. Sprained ankles affect athletes and non-athletes alike and can quickly take you out of commission. 

Our team of board-certified podiatrists knows that ankle sprains can be debilitating, and not just for the short-term. Not only do acute ankle sprains cause pain and disability, but they also cause long-term issues. Left untreated, ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle pain, increased ankle instability, and even post-traumatic osteoarthritis. 

Read on as our team at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, shares practical tips for managing pain and how we can provide long-term relief here in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.

Use the RICE method

The RICE method stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Together, the components of the RICE method can help reduce swelling and manage pain.


Allow your ankle time to rest by avoiding putting weight on it. If you sprain your ankle while you’re hiking in one of the many New York state parks, you can create a makeshift crutch with a large tree branch and an extra shirt or sweatshirt. 

If you sprain your ankle while playing a sport, remove yourself from the game. Avoiding putting weight on your ankle is your first line of defense against exacerbating your pain. 


Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Keep a thin towel, such as a tea towel, between your skin and the ice pack. Stock your first-aid kit with single-use ice packs so you’ll always have one on hand.


Compression with an elastic bandage can provide support. Keep a compression wrap in your first aid kit and brush up on your wrapping skills.


Elevate your ankle above heart level to help minimize swelling. You can do this by lying down on a bed or couch and propping pillows under your injured ankle.

Take over-the-counter pain relief medication

Non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Always follow the recommended dosage and consult our team if you have any concerns or existing health conditions.

Try bracing

Stabilize your ankle with a brace or athletic tape. This helps limit movement, provides support to your injured ligaments, and prevents further damage. Your brace or splint should be snug but not too tight to avoid restricting blood flow.

When at-home pain management methods aren’t enough

If your pain isn’t managed with these options, your Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, provider may prescribe medication. While medication helps manage your pain, it doesn’t heal your tendons. Our team may recommend radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy to help achieve both of those goals.

Studies show that radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy can help the soft tissues in your ankle heal, which helps prevent pain from long-term ankle issues. 

For severe ankle injuries, you may benefit from surgery to help your ankle heal and prevent chronic problems. 

If you have a twisted ankle, don’t suffer in silence. Schedule your appointment with our team today to explore your treatment options.

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