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How Do I Put on a Sprained Ankle Wrap?

A man with a sprained ankle.
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  • Written By: T. Alaine
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 08 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Applying a wrap bandage to a sprained ankle can be accomplished in a few simple steps as long as you keep a few basic instructions in mind. Essentially, all you need to do to put on a sprained ankle wrap is obtain the correct type of bandage and wind it around the injured ankle. Some extra strategies, such as knowing how tightly to wrap the bandage and how to secure the ends are also useful in ensuring an effective and comfortable sprained ankle wrap.

First of all, you will need the appropriate materials. A long, stretchy fabric bandage is easy to find in drugstores or even grocery stores. The doctor who diagnosed your sprain will most likely use one of these bandages to wrap it for you initially, so you can just reuse that one. If you did not see a doctor, or if he or she did not apply a sprained ankle wrap for you, locating an appropriate bandage yourself should not be difficult. You will also need some sort of medical tape if the bandage you purchase does not come with flat metal clips to secure the wrap.

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To put on the sprained ankle wrap, take off any socks or stockings and make sure other clothing, such as pant legs, are clear from the area. Consider that even if you can roll your pant leg up high enough to put the bandage on, it might not fit over the applied wrap. Wearing looser slacks or sweatpants that will not get stuck on the sprained ankle wrap is preferable, because any extra pressure on the injury might cause pain.

Place one end of the fabric bandage on the top middle of your foot. Holding the strip of fabric flat against your skin, begin winding it around your foot, slightly overlapping each layer while progressing toward the ankle. Take care to wind the sprained ankle wrap tightly enough to apply slight pressure, as the compression will help keep swelling at bay, but no so tightly that you feel discomfort; applying the bandage too tightly can cut off your circulation and slow blood flow to the foot.

Continue wrapping the bandage around your heel and ankle, stopping a few inches above your ankle. When you have finished wrapping, it is time to secure the bandage so it stays in place properly. If you have metal clips, use them to attach the loose end of the bandage to the wrapped portion. Metal clips are not necessary, and some people find them ineffective or uncomfortable, so feel free to use medical tape. Cut off a strip of tape long enough to wind around your leg at least once; using a short piece will probably not be sure enough. Use the tape to secure the sprained ankle wrap by wrapping it around the end of the bandage, taking care not to pull it too tightly.

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