How do I Treat a Bruised Ankle?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2018
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If you have bruised your ankle, then you need to take immediate steps to stop the bruising and swelling. Healing a bruised ankle is not difficult, though it will take a bit of patience. Before you can rest your ankle, you will need to gather an ice pack wrapped in a towel, a medical bandage, and a bottle of ibuprofen.

Once you have the aforementioned items, place your foot upon a stack of pillows in order to elevate the affected area. Then, place the towel-wrapped ice pack on the ankle for twenty minutes — repeat this action every two hours. Next, wrap your foot in a medical bandage, and keep your foot elevated. Then, take one ibuprofen every four hours, or as directed on the bottle, and make sure to keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Putting pressure on the ankle is not a good idea, so try and stay off of your ankle for at least one day.

After you have gone through the steps mentioned above, take note of the pain that you are feeling in your ankle. If you begin to experience stabbing pains, deformation, or intense swelling, then it is important to seek medical help. Sometimes, a bruised ankle may be an indication of another problem. Bone fractures, anticoagulant medications, and other ankle injuries can all lead to a bruised ankle. Frequently, a bruised ankle is misdiagnosed, which is why it's important to seek medical attention if ankle pain persists.


If you do not have immediate access to a bandage, ice pack, or ibuprofen, there are other items that will work just as well. Cold water and a strip of any material can replace an ice pack and a medical bandage. No matter where you happen to be, the most important thing to remember is to keep pressure off of your foot. Ankle bruises can cause additional problems if this type of injury is not treated properly.

Before beginning any sports or other physical activities, make sure that your ankle has completely healed. Otherwise, you may risk injuring your ankle further. Children are particularly susceptible to additional ankle injuries when a bruise does not have time to heal, since a child's bones tend to be particularly fragile, so special care should be taken to ensure that a child does not further aggravate the injured ankle. In any instance, seeking medical attention is a wise choice. This way, you can determine whether you have truly bruised your ankle, or if you have caused additional damage.


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Post 4

You can go back to playing as long as the bruise isn't making it hard to walk or causing you a good amount of pain when you touch it. If just running your fingers over it hurts then I would wait. This is just my opinion (I am playing softball with a bruised ankle later today).

Post 3

If you want to start playing sports again after bruising your ankle, does anyone know how long you should wait? Does it depend on the color the bruise changes to, or should you just rely on whether or not it no longer hurts?

Post 2

I find that gently rubbing some cream used to help sore muscles on the ankle bruise really helps to reduce the pain.

Most muscle cream has an ingredient in it that helps to numb pain and reduce swelling.

If you are wary of rubbing your bruise, you can buy a medicated patch that is used for the same purpose as the muscle cream. It will have the same results as the cream, and as a bonus, is less messy. Though, the patches do tend to be a bit more expensive.

Post 1

hi i have a bruised ankle. should i be playing soccer?

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