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What To Do About A Strained Ankle?


Recently, I slipped on some ice and strained my inner ankle. Now, it’s stiff when I wake up in the morning. It loosens up during the day but it is tender between the inner ankle bone and the Achilles. What’ s between the two and what would best to help treat it – rest, cold or heat?


You may be suffering from an ankle sprain and possible injury to your posterior subtalar joint – that’s the area between the inside ankle and the Achilles tendon – it’s the back of the joint between the heel bone and the ankle bone.

To avoid further injury, try using the PRICE method:

  • Protect — Wrap and stop using your ankle. Wear a brace around it ankle and limit movements that aggravate it.
  • Rest — This speaks for itself. Perhaps try resting it during the weekend or days when you are off work.
  • Ice — Apply cold as much as possible for up to 72 hours as much as possible. (Ice should be applied for 45 minutes on the ankle and 15 minutes off.) Afterward, ice as needed for pain and swelling.
  • Compress — Use an Ace wrap or something similar, such as an ankle sleeve, on the foot that’s bothering you.
  • Elevate — Doing this as needed for swelling should help if the ankle throbs or swells at the end of the day.

Follow this method for at least three days, then do only do so as needed.
Don’t use heat on the ankle until the pain goes away – which will likely take four to six days if you follow the PRICE method.

This time of year, the doctors are seeing quite a few patients with ankle injuries as a result of icy falls—so you’re not alone. If the pain or swelling gets worse or doesn’t improve within a few weeks, go see a board-certified podiatrist.

We hope this helps, and good luck!