RICE (Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation)

Sprained ankles happen, even to the most careful walker and the torn tissue swells immediately.  If the ankle is covered by the boot, do not remove the boot as this will help to contain the swelling and you may not be able to replace the boot on the swollen foot.  Frequently it is sufficient to rest for a while until the pain eases and then it may be possible to proceed, assisted by a stick or a shoulder to lean on.

If there is a stream or water nearby immersing the foot, complete with boot, may help to reduce the swelling and ease the pain.  If the ankle is not covered, then a crepe bandage, soaked in cold water and tied in a figure of eight over the shoe and ankle will help to reduce the swelling and provide a little support. 

Occasionally the damage to the surrounding tissue is extensive and you may not be able to distinguish between a sprain and a fracture.  In such cases there is no alternative but to treat the injury as a fracture and outside help may have to be sought to evacuate the casualty.