One of the main goals of healthcare professionals who work in sports medicine – maybe the most important goal – is to help an athlete or active person return to the sport or exercise they love to do after an injury. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss how you can return to sports quickly after a sprained ankle.

Madison asks:
I sprained my ankle. I need to play soccer. I live for it. What should I do?

An ankle sprain is the most common injury in many sports, including soccer. Rarely does the athlete need surgery, but it can take many weeks to heal enough that the athlete can return to the field.

Most athletes, coaches and parents use treatments immediately after a sprained ankle that fit into the RICE acronym: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest and avoid activity that increase ankle pain and swelling. Apply ice or some other cold treatment to decrease swelling and pain. Use compression with a compression wrap or some sort of sleeve. And elevate the foot and ankle above the level of the heart to decrease swelling.

Common mechanism of injury of a sprained ankle

Those are great treatments for the first few days, but often they won’t get an athlete back to play quickly after a sprained ankle. In this video, I discuss another idea that I used with professional soccer players after ankle sprains that helped them return to play and play at their prior level quicker than if we hadn’t done it. This treatment can help you as well if you sprain your ankle.

Also read:
Why could you have ankle pain weeks after an ankle sprain?
What can you do to prevent repeated ankle sprains?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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