Weekly First-aid Topic: Ice Compress Can Ease Ankle Sprains
From:Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning


Ankle joint is one of the most complex joints in the human joint structure and has a high frequency of movement, which is the main stress point for jumping and landing on the lower extremities. It is also a joint that can be easily damaged in daily life or sports.

Acute injuries to the ankle are often caused by sudden traumatic injuries and usually cause pain immediately. Any movement should be stopped promptly to allow the injured area to rest in order to avoid further damage. It is advised to apply ice within 24 hours after the injury. Time of the ice compress should be controlled within 20 minutes. This can reduce tissue temperature, metabolic rate and nerve conduction velocity, shrink the surrounding blood vessels to reduce swelling, relieve the pain.

Frostbite should also be prevented only by a simple method of putting the wet towel in the refrigerator for a few minutes and covering the swelling and sore spots with it. After that, use elastic bandage to wrap the injured ankle to conduct appropriate local pressure to reduce swelling. The ice compress should not be too tight, otherwise it will increase the distal blood circulation and aggravate the pain. Finally, it is best to lie flat, place a pillow under the leg and raise the injured limb above the heart to increase venous and lymphatic drainage, relieve swelling, and promote recovery.