How to Wrap a Sprained Ankle:
The best way to wrap your ankle is by using an Ace Bandage. You need to use an ace bandage if you have broken bones or other injuries. An ace bandage will not only protect your skin from further damage but it will also prevent infection and swelling. If you are going out for the day then you can always wear a sports bra instead of wearing an ace bandage. However, if you want to stay home and rest then you can still wear an ace bandage.
An ace bandage is made up of two pieces of material which are sewn together. The first piece of material consists of a strip of fabric (the backing) and the second piece consists of a strip of fabric (the backing). These strips are sewn together around your injured area so that they form a tight seal against the skin. When you put the bandage on, the strips of fabric are pulled tightly together. This ensures that no air can get through and that there is a tight seal between your skin and the backing.
If you do not like wearing an ace bandage then you could try one of these alternatives:
Wear a sports bra instead of wearing an ace bandage. This will ensure that your skin does not get irritated when walking around.
Wear an ankle brace. This should be enough to stop you from over-stressing your ankle. However, you will need to see a doctor before you wear one of these as they can sometimes cause further damage if your injury is more serious than you thought.
Do not wear anything at all. If you are only going to be sitting down or lying in bed then there is no need to wear anything on your ankle. However, if you are going to be standing up for long periods of time then you might want to wear an ankle brace or wrap your ankle with an ace bandage.
You should only wrap your sprained ankle at night if it is causing you a lot of pain when you put your weight on it. It is better to rest your body and mind instead of putting extra stress on it.
How to wrap an ankle with tape:
You should only wrap an ankle with tape in order to protect your skin from further damage. Trying to protect the ankle from over-stressing itself is not a good enough reason to wrap it as this can easily be done by wearing an ankle brace or wrap. You should never wear more than one layer of tape as this can cut off the blood supply to the ankle which can result in tissue death. You should also avoid taping if you have diabetes or poor circulation as taping can lead to these conditions getting worse.
You should only wrap your ankle if:
You are going to be standing up for a long period of time. This will ensure that your ankle does not over-stretch and put your bones, muscles and tendons under too much stress. This will increase your risk of making the injury worse.
Your ankle is still painful when you walk on it. This will ensure that you do not put your ankle under too much stress. If your ankle is painful when walking on it then it could be at risk of over-stressing and worsening the injury. Before taping you should try to rest your ankle for a few days before progressing to the next step.
Wrap underneath the foot rather than around it. Wrapping over the top of your foot can damage the nerves and cause pins and needles in addition to leaving your foot vulnerable.
Wrap the tape under your foot and over the top. The tape should be just under your toes. Use 2-3 inches of tape and pull it tightly around the front of your ankle. The tape should be pulled so that it is just less than uncomfortable. When you stand up, take a few steps and then sit down again the tape will become less tight.
This will ensure that your ankle is not over-stretched or under too much pressure as the afternoon goes on.
Wrap it once more but leave a gap of an inch between the first and second layer of tape. The gap should be at the back of your ankle, closest to your heel. This will ensure that your ankle does not over-stretch and put too much pressure on it when you walk or stand up.
If you still have pain when you walk then repeat steps 3-8 until the pain goes away. This method can be used for most injuries below the knee although for a severe sprain you should only do this for a maximum of 2 days before seeking medical advice.
Remember that taping will not fix a broken bone or torn ligament and it will not work if you do not rest your injury! If the pain does not go away then see a doctor as you may need surgery or an injection to fix your ankle. It is also important to remember that taping will not make your ankle stop hurting, it is designed to prevent it from getting worse and over-stressing the ligaments and tendons.
Sources & references used in this article:
A prospective, randomized clinical investigation of the treatment of first-time ankle sprains by BD Beynnon, PA Renström, L Haugh… – … American journal of …, 2006 – journals.sagepub.com
The sprained ankle: current therapy by DB Kay – Foot & ankle, 1985 – journals.sagepub.com
The prevention of ankle sprains in sports by SB Thacker, DF Stroup, CM Branche… – … American journal of …, 1999 – journals.sagepub.com
Benefits, risks, and costs of alternative approaches to the evaluation and treatment of severe ankle sprain by SH Soboroff, EM Pappius… – … and Related Research®, 1984 – journals.lww.com
The role of stress radiographs for the severe ankle sprain: a 7-year prospective study by KM Vitellas, CF Mueller, NA Blau, JJ Verner… – Emergency …, 1995 – Springer
Cryotherapy in ankle sprains by JE Hocutt JR, R Jaffe, CR Rylander… – The American journal …, 1982 – journals.sagepub.com
Ankle ice pack by WJ Carter – US Patent 2,949,914, 1960 – Google Patents