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A foot being wrapped in tape

How to Compress a Sprained Ankle

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Sprained ankles injuries are among the most common injuries, and they can happen to anyone easily. Treating a sprained ankle right when it happens is critical. If it does not heal correctly, the joint may become unstable, resulting in a weakened and easily reinjured ankle.

Applying a compression wrap to a sprained ankle can be done at home and is used to prevent swelling and stabilize the ankle by immobilizing it.

An ankle with a graphic showing bones inside it

To properly wrap your ankle, always make sure you:

  • Have enough bandage
  • Take your time
  • Don’t wrap the bandage too loosely or too tightly 
  • Gather up your elastic bandage wrap and scissors to have ready when you’ve finished wrapping. 
  • Hold your foot at a 90-degree angle and wrap the bandage around the ball of your foot just below the toes.
  • Slowly circle your way up the foot by wrapping the bandage several times around the top of your foot and working up the arch of your foot in a figure-eight pattern. Remember not to wrap too tight or too loose. 
  • Begin to pull the bandage diagonally from the bottom and wrap it a few times around the ankle.
  • Lastly, finish by wrapping the bandage a few inches above your ankle. At this point, the wrap should cover your entire foot and ankle with this process, including your heel.
  • Use the Velcro that comes with the bandage or tape to secure the compression wrap and keep it in place.  
A foot being wrapped in a bandage

The wrap should be tight but should not cut off circulation to the foot. If you notice your toes becoming purple or blue, cool to the touch, or numb, you have wrapped your foot too tight, and it needs to be loosened. Also, be sure to loosen the wrap before you go to bed at night. 

A woman placing a hot/cold wrap on her elbow

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FAQ

How long should you wrap a sprained ankle? 

You should apply a compression wrap to your sprained ankle as soon as the sprain occurs, and you should leave the wrap on for 48 to 72 hours before replacing it with another wrap.

How long does it take to heal a sprained ankle? 

Mild, low-grade ankle sprains typically heal in one to three weeks with proper care. More moderate sprains usually take about three to five weeks. 

What are some other sprained ankle treatments? 

Some other simple and common sprained ankle treatments to help ease pain include ice compression, elevation, TENS therapy, and physical therapy. 

sHOULD YOU WRAP A SPRAINED ANKLE OVERNIGHT?

Yes, but be sure to loosen the compression wrap before going to bed. 

Packaging for a foot and ankle kinesiology tape and text on it : Further details are provided below

Kinesiology Tape for Sprained Ankles

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"Did the trick and kept the inflammation down, without cutting off the blood supply & leaving horrible marks at the top of my ankle, like support socks tend to do. Instructions were easy to follow and support was very good." -Amazon Review

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Additional Ankle Pain Relief Resources

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About the Author

Headshot for Ally West

Ally West is a Florida State University student studying Communications. She has spent her time studying the world of Digital Communications, and hopes to one day pursue a career in that field.

About Carex Health Brands

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Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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