Top 30 Science-Backed Home Remedies For Sprained Ankle Pain And Swelling Relief

The ankle joint connects your foot with the lower leg. However, it is vulnerable and can be injured very easily when you are at work or playing sports and doing exercises. Therefore, the first aid for this problem is vital before seeing the doctor. We will list out some of the best natural home remedies for the sprained ankle pain and swelling relief that you can easily apply at home.

30 Science-Backed Home Remedies For Sprained Ankle Relief

I. What Is Sprained Ankle?

A sprained ankle also called twisted ankle is an injury in ligaments, which surround the bones and connect the foot with the lower leg[1]. The ligaments play an important role in stabilizing the joints; so when they are pushed over the normal boundaries because of your carelessness, they cause a sprain.

A sprained ankle happens when you suddenly twist or roll your foot during physical activities; so, the ligaments around the ankle stretch and cause pain.

You may see the following symptoms if you have a sprained ankle:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Sensitivity to pain when placing weight on the affected area
  • Discoloration of the skin

II. Home Remedies

The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.

1. Ice Cubes

Applying ice cubes may help to soothe the pain and swelling from the sprained ankle[2]. Also, it helps to reduce the inflammation and stop bleeding if you have a torn ligament. You should apply ice cubes to the affected area according to the following steps:

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Directions: 

  • Prepare a cup of ice cubes and wrap it in a towel
  • Apply the above towel to the sprained ankle
  • Repeat this method every 2 or 3 hours, within 48 to 72 hours after the injury.

Note: You should not directly put ice cubes on the sprained ankle because it can damage your skin.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammation properties, so it is considered as a powerful pain reliever. Besides, antispasmodic properties of turmeric make it effective in relaxing the muscles and joints' pain and swelling. The research (2007) on the American Journal of Physiology also confirmed the effects of turmeric on sprained ankle treatment[3].

Remedy 1: Turmeric And Lemon Juice 

Directions: 

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice well
  • Add to the above mixture a suitable amount of water to make a thick paste
  • Apply the above mixture to the sprained ankle and use a bandage to wrap it
  • Let it stay for 10 hours
  • Rinse it off after 10 hours and then apply another solution. Continuously apply this remedy in a week, and you will be surprised with the result.

Remedy 2: Turmeric And Limestone

Directions: 

  • Mix an equal amount of turmeric powder with limestone powder
  • Add to the above mixture a suitable amount of water to make a thick paste
  • Heat the paste, apply it to the sprained ankle and use a bandage to wrap it (implement these steps before going to bed)
  • Let it stay there through the night
  • Remove the bandage and rinse the mixture off in the next morning
  • Apply this remedy 2 or 3 times to treat the sprained ankle completely.

Remedy 3: Turmeric And Milk

Directions:

  • Prepare 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and add it to a cup of warm milk
  • Drink 2 cups of turmeric milk per day to get rid of the sprained ankle as soon as possible.
3. Epsom Salt 

Using Epsom salt is one of the most excellent home remedies for sprained ankle. It contains crystals of magnesium sulfate, which may effectively ease the painful muscles[4]. When you soak your feet into the Epsom salt water, it will help you to soothe the symptoms of a sprained ankle, and even those of arthritis.

Directions: 

  • Prepare a bucket of warm water
  • Add to this water 1 cup of Epsom salt and stir it for the salt to dissolve into the water
  • Soak your affected area into the water for half an hour
  • Instantly apply this remedy twice per day in 3 or 4 days to improve your situation.
4. Garlic

Thanks to its appearance of anti-inflammatory, garlic can help to reduce inflammation, which is caused by a sprained ankle[5]. Moreover, it has healing properties; so, you can use it to treat many diseases and boost your body's health.

Remedy 1: Garlic And Coconut Oil

Directions: 

  • Add 1 tablespoon of garlic juice to a small cup
  • Add to this cup 2 tablespoons of warm coconut oil and mix them well
  • Apply the above solution to the sprained ankle
  • Wait for 30 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water

Remedy 2: Garlic And Almond Oil

  • Add 1 teaspoon of garlic juice to a small cup
  • Add 1 teaspoon of almond oil to this cup and mix them well
  • Gently massage your sprained ankle with the above mixture
  • Repeat these directions 2 or 3 times per day until you get rid of a sprained ankle
5. Arnica

Arnica has been used for medicine for several centuries. Until now, it is still effective in treating some diseases, including sprained ankle. It has anti-inflammatory properties, so it is useful in reducing pain and swelling from the sore ankle[6]. It further helps to strengthen the muscles and increase blood circulation.

Directions:

  • Apply diluted arnica essential oil to the sprained ankle
  • Massage the affected area
  • Use a bandage to wrap that area and let it stay for more than 5 hours
  • Remove the bandage and continue to apply arnica essential oil
  • Repeat this remedy every several hours in a few days until you get the result.
6. Onion

Like garlic, onion also has anti-inflammatory properties[7], which may help to treat the sprained ankle and even arthritis. Using onion will also help you relieve the soreness, inflammation, and swelling.

Remedy 1: 

Directions: 

  • Chop an onion into small pieces and put them into a muslin cloth
  • Tie the cloth with a rubber band
  • Place the cloth on your affected area for 2 hours

Remedy 2: 

Directions:

  • Put an onion in the refrigerator for 2 hours
  • Take the onion out and then cut it into small pieces
  • Add a suitable amount of salt to the onion pieces
  • Place the above solution to the sprained ankle and cover with a bandage
  • After 7 or 8 hours, remove the solution and apply a new one
  • Reuse this treatment once or twice per day to get the best result.
7. Castor Oil

People have used castor oil to treat a sprained ankle for a quite long time. It is a triglyceride and rich in ricinoleic acid, which may effectively treat the inflammation in the sprained ankle[8]. It is said that castor oil is useful in treating more than fifty diseases. It can boost the lymphatic circulation, and increase the immune system to make your body stronger before inflammation and infection.

Directions:

  • Fold a cotton cloth
  • Dip the folded cloth into the castor oil and then place it to the affected area
  • Cover the castor oil with several plastic layers
  • Place a bottle of hot water to the castor oil pack for 30 minutes
  • Remove the pack and massage your ankle
  • Let the oil stay on your ankle
  • Follow it twice or thrice per day for best effects
8. Olive Oil

Olive oil has a phenolic compound, which can help to treat the inflammation[9], which is caused by sprained ankle very well. It has healing properties as its nutrients can be easily absorbed into your body. Therefore, it is claimed that using olive oil can assist the patient with a sprained ankle to reduce the pain and recover from this problem quicker.

Remedy 1: Olive Oil Massage

Directions: 

  • Heat the olive oil and then let it cool a little bit
  • Place the warm olive oil to the sprained ankle and massage it for several minutes
  • Repeat this home treatment 3 or 4 times per day to relieve the pain

Remedy 2: Olive Oil And Egg Yolk

Directions: 

  • Prepare 1 egg yolk, add to it 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix them well
  • Apply the above solution to the sprained ankle and use a cotton pad to cover it
  • Let it stay for 2 days
  • Continuously apply this remedy in some days until you feel the improvement.
9. Cabbage

Cabbage is considered as a powerful treatment for the sprained ankle as it may help ease the pain and swelling[10]. It comes with anti-inflammatory abilities, which can treat the sprains effectively. Cabbage is also rich in vitamins and phytonutrients so it can increase the healing process of the sprained ankle.

Directions: 

  • Take a fresh cabbage and remove the outer leaves
  • Squeeze the leaves to release the juice
  • Put the cabbage leaves in a foil paper and heat them until they are warm
  • Apply the warm leaves to the sprained ankle and cover it with a bandage
  • Cover the overall area with another plastic wrap to save the warmth
  • Repeat this remedy in 2 days, twice per day, and you will be able to keep away from the sprained ankle very quickly.
10. Ginger

Ginger is good for not only sprained ankle treatment but also our overall health. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties that can ease the pain caused by a sprained ankle and arthritis[11] [12]. Your sprained ankle will be treated by using a warm compress after 2 or 3 days.  You should not apply it right after being injured because it may harm your ankle and bone.

Remedy 1: 

Directions: 

  • Prepare 2-3 inches of ginger root, 6 – 8 cups of water and a washcloth
  • Cut the ginger root into thin slices and place them in a pot
  • Pour water into the pot and boil for 5 minutes
  • Let it cool a little bit as too hot water may harm your skin
  • Soak the washcloth into the warm ginger water and wrap on your sprained ankle

Remedy 2: 

Directions:

  • Prepare 3 – 4 tablespoons of ginger powder and a suitable amount of water
  • Mix the ginger powder with water to make a thick paste
  • Apply the above mixture to the sprained ankle. You can optionally use a bandage to keep the mixture in the same place
  • Rinse it off after 6 – 7 hours
  • You can place the above solution to the sprained ankle in the evening and then wash off the next morning. You will achieve the result soon.
11. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, which may reduce the pain and swelling from the sprained ankle very quickly[13]. It is also popular in treating sports injuries such as soreness of muscles, sprains, sunburn, bruises, and so on. The analgesic properties of aloe vera make it a powerful reliever for pain[14]. Also, the damaged tissues will be repaired by using aloe vera.

Remedy 1: 

Directions:

  • Take an aloe vera leaf and cut it to extract the juice
  • Soak a clean towel into this gel
  • You can optionally add some ice cubes to the towel
  • Wrap the towel with aloe vera gel (and ice cubes) onto the affected area
  • When the towel is dry, you remove it and repeat the above process every 30 – 60 minutes

Remedy 2: 

Direction:

  • Extract the juice from an aloe vera leaf
  • Add some glycerin to the juice and mix them well
  • Apply the above solution to the sprained ankle
12. Lemongrass Oil

Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties[15] [16], lemongrass essential oil can help to reduce the pain in muscles and bones when you get a sprained ankle. Moreover, it can help to regenerate the damaged tissues and ligaments. The antiseptic properties of lemongrass essential oil can stop bleeding and promote the healing process so it helps you recover from wounds and pain quicker. However, you have to dilute this oil before using since it can cause rashes in people with sensitive skin.

Directions:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of lemongrass oil and 4 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Apply the above solution to the affected area and gently massage it
  • Do this remedy 3 or 4 times per day

Note: The ratio of lemongrass essential oil and olive oil should be 1:4. So, if you increase the amount of lemongrass oil to 2 teaspoons, the amount of olive oil should be 8 teaspoons.

13. Rosemary

Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties[17] that can help you to treat the sprained ankle very quickly. Also, it helps to reduce redness and swelling in the affected area.

Directions: 

  • Prepare some rosemary leaves and cut them into small pieces
  • Put those small pieces into a jar
  • Pour alcohol into the jar
  • Use a lid to cover this jar and put it in a dark place for 4 – 6 weeks
  • Use a cheesecloth to strain this herb and store the leaves in a dark bottle
  • Apply it to the sprained ankle whenever you feel pain.
14. Sweet Marjoram Oil

Sweet marjoram oil has anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, all of which can help you to get rid of the pain and swelling[18], which is caused by a sprained ankle. It can also relax the muscles and relieve the rheumatic sprains and swollen joints. Therefore, many people often use it to treat sports injuries.

Directions:

  • Add a few drops of sweet marjoram oil to a foot basin, which is full of cold water
  • Soak a towel into this water and then wring it out to excess the water
  • Place the towel to the affected area
15. White Willow Bark

Thanks to the existence of salicin, white willow bark is considered as one of the natural herbs, which may relieve the pain effectively[19]. Salicin in white willow bark can be converted into salicylic acid, which plays an important role in treating the inflammation and pain. It reduces the pain by preventing the prostaglandins synthesis in the sensory nerves. The pain, which is caused by a sprained ankle, will be treated if you drink white willow bark tea regularly.

Directions: 

  • Place 1/5 parts of white willow bark into a jar
  • Fill this jar with 4/5 parts of alcohol, cover with a lid and shake well
  • Place the jar in a cool and dark place in 2 -3 months
  • Strain the mixture and then pour it into a dark bottle
  • Store the bottle in a dark & cool place (do not store it in the refrigerator)
  • When you feel pain from the sprained ankle, dilute 30 – 60 drops of white willow bark with water and have it
  • Repeat this remedy 3 – 4 times per day until you feel better
  • Note: People who take blood thinners, and children should avoid applying this remedy.
16. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is one of the most powerful home remedies for sprained ankle thanks to its appearance of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hematoma properties[20]. When you have a sprained ankle, some tissues are damaged, and they require the regeneration. Thanks to the above properties, helichrysum essential oil can help to prevent further damage to the injured tissues, reduce pain, and regenerate the new ones.

Directions:

  • Prepare some helichrysum essential oil
  • Apply the oil directly to the sprained ankle once or twice per day

Note: It is possible to blend helichrysum essential oil with rosehip oil and then apply to the affected area.

17. Essential Oils Blend

The anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties of essential oil may help to effectively ease your pain and swelling[21] [22]. Therefore, the essential oils blend is never a bad choice for relieving the disease's symptoms. It will boost the healing process and speed up your recovery.

Remedy 1: 

Directions:

  • Mix 3 drops of German Chamomile oil with 3 drops of lavender oil
  • Add 2 teaspoons of clove oil to it
  • Apply the mixture to the sprained ankle and gently massage it for 2 minutes
  • Do this remedy 1 – 3 times per day

Remedy 2: 

Directions: 

  • Mix the same amount of frankincense oil, wintergreen oil, peppermint oil, ginger oil, and clove bud oil together
  • Apply the above mixture to the affected area and massage it for 2 minutes
  • Apply this remedy 1 – 3 times per day, until you feel the improvement.

III. How To Prevent Sprained Ankle

Prevention is much better than treatment; so, pay attention to the following tips to prevent sprained ankle:

  • Wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage when you play sports or do strong activities
  • Warm up before playing sports or doing exercises
  • When you walk, focus on the surface
  • When you are tired, stop doing strengthening exercises
  • Avoid wearing high heels

IV. Diet Advice For Sprained Ankle Patients

People with sprained ankle should consume a large amount of the following foods to speed up the healing process and remove the uncomfortable feeling as soon as possible:

1. Calcium And Phosphorus

Calcium and phosphorus can contribute to bringing you strong bones. Especially, they are essential minerals for those who play sports regularly. According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, an adult needs 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium per day[23]. Fortunately, foods such as whole grains, green vegetables, and dairy are rich in both calcium and phosphorus. Therefore, consume more of them to prevent the sprained ankle and ensure that you have strong bones.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary to create collagen[24], which helps to build the ligaments and tendons. You should eat more foods such as citrus fruits and green pepper to increase the amount of the needed vitamin C in your body. 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day is enough.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D can assist your body to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which build your bones[25]. You should consume more eggs, milk, and fish to provide enough amount of vitamin D that your body needs.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium also plays an important role in building the bones[26]. Also, it helps to keep the potassium, calcium and vitamin D in your body at a suitable level. It is rich in foods such as grains, nuts, and vegetables. You are advised to eat 270 to 400 mg of magnesium per day to have a healthy body.

To gain optimum results, you should follow the above natural remedies regularly without fail. If you have any other home remedies for sprained ankle or questions, you can leave your comment under this article.

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