According to information from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, leaving an ankle sprain un-treated or mistreated can result in a higher risk of re-injury, chronic disability and even early arthritis.
So what should you do if you suspect you have a sprain? If you are able to put weight on the foot, the sprain can probably be treated with the time-honored RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Prop your foot up on some cushions, wrap it with a compression bandage, and switch between icing for 10-20 minutes and removing for 10 minutes. If it’s too painful to put weight on your foot, head to a doctor.
But don’t pop an anti-inflammatory (such as Advil or Motrin)—at least not yet. Surprisingly, researchers have recently discovered that inflammation might actually be a necessary part of the healing process. The first pain reliever you should take is acetaminophen (like Tylenol), then after 48 hours you can switch to an anti-inflammatory.
Make sure you get a green light from your doctor or instructor before going back to the studio. Take it slow, and don’t pressure yourself to do exercises that put you in pain.