Using a compression wrap for a sprained ankle

A sprained ankle is a common injury that can result to lifelong issues. Some individuals who have recurrent or severe sprains can end up with lasting joint pain and weakness. The management of a sprained ankle can prevent ongoing issues with the ankle.

In case a sprained ankle does not properly heal, the joint can become unstable which results to a weakened and easily damaged joint. Proper primary care of the ankle is vital.

A compression wrap works by reducing the swelling of a sprained ankle. If the swelling is kept to a minimum, it can help the ankle feel better.

How to apply a compression wrap for a sprained ankle

Sprained ankle
In case a sprained ankle does not properly heal, the joint can become unstable which results to a weakened and easily damaged joint.

You can control the swelling of a sprained ankle by wrapping it with an elastic bandage. You can readily purchase one in groceries and pharmacies.

When applying a compression wrap, the following steps should be followed:

  • Slice several horseshoe-shaped pieces of felt cloth to form a 0.5 thick padding. This padding is placed beneath the ankle bone to keep fluid out of the hollow area below the ankle bone.
  • Roll up the elastic bandage. Hold the ankle at a 90-degree angle. Start where the toes meet the body of the foot. Grasp the loose end of the bandage at the side of the foot. You should wrap the bandage around the ball of the foot once, making sure that it is taut with light pull.
  • After the initial layer, start circling slowly around the arch of the foot. Pull the bandage in a diagonal manner from the base of the toes across the top of the foot and circle it around the ankle. Draw the bandage diagonally across the top of the foot and below the arch in a figure-8 pattern.
  • Once the ankle bone is reached, wrap it around the felt piece so it remains in place beneath the ankle bone. Continue around the ankle and foot in a figure-8, moving to the heel on the base and toward the calf at the top of the figure-8. Make sure that the wrap covers the whole foot and ends around 7 centimeters above the ankle. Most wraps are built as self-fastening or have clip fasteners. A tape can also be used to secure the ends.
  • The wrap must properly fit but must not disrupt the circulation to the foot. Make sure to check the toes. If they turn bluish or purple, cool to the touch and tingly or numb, the wrap is too tight and must be loosened. In addition, loosen the wrap at night time before sleeping.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on caring for a sprained ankle is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage sprains with a compression wrap by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.

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