American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries in youth soccer. They can happen after a quick change of direction, stepping in a hole or when cleats don’t fit just right. Though the average ankle sprain doesn’t require much recovery time, there are also more serious sprains that can lead to complications in the future if not properly treated.
For a Grade 1 (least serious) or Grade 2 sprained ankle, the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society suggests that players use the “R.I.C.E.” method of healing to get back to playing shape. R.I.C.E. consists of:
Rest: Limit or eliminate weight bearing, walking or any other activity that puts pressure on the ankle. Use crutches if necessary. If there’s no fracture, it’s okay to put some weight on the leg, but always listen to the signals the body sends.
Ice: To keep down the swelling, use a thin cloth between the ice bag and the ankle and keep it on for 15 minutes at a time.
Compression: This will help to avoid excess swelling and give the foot all the support it needs to heal.
Elevate: Keep the foot above your waist or heart level so the blood flows and the ankle heals properly.