Sprained Ankle…Pulled Muscle…R.I.C.E.

                I hate to admit it, but I turned my ankle the other day.  I was playing flag football with the TrueAP staff; I was running and cut really quickly. As I cut, my foot stayed planted in the turf, and my shin (tibia and fibula) kept moving.  This put a great amount of stress on my ankle ligaments.  Well my ligaments lost! I quickly realized I had the most common ankle sprain, an eversion sprain.  This type of sprain is when  you sprain the ligaments on the outside ankle bone (lateral malleolus). 

                So, now what?  Well, as a trainer with over 15 years of rehab experience, and as my friends at The Jackson Clinics would have inevitably advised me to do, I decided on the following:

*Disclaimer: These are recommendations for a minor ankle sprain or pulled muscle.  If at any time, you or someone with you, feels the injury could be more severe, get to an emergency room right away!

  1. Stop Playing: Though you might feel that you are OK to continue, you probably are not.  Your body will react to an injury and send a lot of adrenaline and endorphins to the area.  Thus making your ankle feel a little better.  It is NOT! It is weak and you could injure it more if you continue.
  2. Take off your shoe: A lot of athletes try and keep their shoe on to help prevent swelling.  No need.  Your ankle is probably going to swell weather you like it or not.
  3. NOW R.I.C.E.!
    1. Rest: Get off the field and sit down somewhere away from the action of the game.  Make sure you are comfortable.  You may lie down if you are feeling lightheaded too.
    2. Ice: Get some ice on it IMMEDIATELY! The quicker we can get ice on it, the sooner we can decrease the swelling and even soreness that will come in the next few hours and days.

                                                                           i.      It is important to keep icing for the next 48 – 72 hours or more.  Use ice according to the 20/20 rule.  20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for at least 24 hours.

  1. Compression: As soon as you can, wrap the ankle.  An ace bandage is perfect for this.  The bandage should have an elastic feel to it, so it does not cut off circulation. 

                                                                           i.      When wrapping the ankle. Start at the bottom of the foot and wrap up.  This will help to make sure the swelling moves away from the injured area.

  1. Elevation: Get the injured limb up above the heart.  It is best to lie down while you elevate the limb.
  2. Get back to Playing: If you stick to items 1 – 3, you will decrease the amount of time off the field and get back to playing the game you love.

Items 1 – 3 will be utilized for other injures such as:

  1. Muscle strains: Also know as a muscle pull.
  2. Sore muscles from lifting or new workouts.
  3. Knee Sprains: These injuries usually requires you see a DR. right away.  Though you should do items 1 – 3 as you are on your way to DR.

If you want some other ideas on how to deal with acute injuries, email me at rrose@trueap.com.


  1. Write it down.
  2. Email it to rrose@trueap.com.

Don’t forget to look for my video blog on this topic.  I will go through some great exercise techniques and exercises for you to try.


Rob Rose