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How do I reduce ankle swelling?

Holman Chan, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery
The best way to reduce ankle swelling goes beyond RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), says Holman Chan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he says that new evidence shows that motion is helpful. 
Swelling is a common and important part of inflammation. Although it is a natural response when the body works to heal itself, swelling can be painful and hard to get rid of if not managed correctly. The best way to control and reduce swelling is to ice and elevate your ankle. Applying ice will cause blood vessels to constrict so there is not as much fluid leaking out of the injured structures, which causes swelling. Ice can be applied for 20 minutes at a time while you are elevating the ankle.

By elevating the ankle, gravity will help disperse the fluid that has accumulated in the ankle to the rest of your body. The higher you can elevate your ankle the more beneficial it will be to reducing swelling. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.