Ankle inflammation can have a number of causes. Your ankle may be swollen because of mild or serious injury, because of arthritis, or because you have applied too much pressure. It is important to consider the cause when considering how to treat your ankle. There are some problems, such as muscle or nerve injury, for which you should seek immediate medical attention. Thereafter, you should follow the medical advice you are given.
Generally, when there is ankle inflammation, a person will be advised to stay off her feet and to elevate her leg as much as possible. People are often unaware how much pressure they apply to their ankles until there is an injury. Relieving your ankle of the pressure can help prevent a more serious injury or a greater amount of swelling.
Ice can also be helpful in treating the inflammation. Cold causes blood vessels to become smaller. As a result, blood cannot travel as easily to that area. Placing an ice pack on your ankle while you are resting can help reduce both the pain and swelling.
While you are immobile, it is a good idea to elevate your foot, because this allows the fluid to drain away from your swollen ankle. You need to make sure that your leg is not too low or too high. If it is too low, the area may not drain. If it is too high, you may prevent proper circulation. It is generally recommended that your ankle should be nearly level to your heart.
When you are on your feet, you should probably restrain from certain activities. Impact activities are likely to aggravate your ankle inflammation if you do not allow yourself time to get better. These activities include running and jumping rope.
You also may want to consider applying a compress and a brace. These can be worn together. The compress is generally something like a long bandage that is wrapped around the ankle to help prevent it from becoming larger. The brace is generally a firmer item that can resemble a shoe with the toe area cut out. This can act to stabilize your ankle and provide extra support.
Aspirin may also help to reduce the swelling and the pain. It is one of the most commonly suggested over-the-counter drugs for swells and sprains. If your ankle inflammation is severe or caused by a medical condition such as arthritis, you may need to take prescription anti-inflammatory medications.