How to Wrap an Ankle Sprain

We know that life is busy for our patients, and this can mean that even when injuries happen, you cannot always make time to see us immediately. But what can be done if you suspect you’ve injured your foot or ankle between the time it occurs and coming in for an appointment? And how can you avoid having the injury become more severe? Today we’ll discuss a common at-home care technique: wrapping an injured foot or ankle.

Why Use a Compression Wrap?

A compression wrap may help to prevent swelling, which can help to alleviate pain in the foot and ankle. It is not a brace and does provide substantial support for the ankle or prevent it from moving, however, it does give the wearer a nice reminder to go about their day in a more careful manner so as not to cause further injury.

Using a Compression Wrap Properly


  • Roll up the elastic bandage. Position your ankle at about a 90-degree angle. Begin wrapping below your toes, at the pad of your foot. Hold the loose end of the bandage at the side of your foot and wrap around, keeping the fabric taut with light tension.
  • After this, wrap around the arch of the foot. Next, wrap the bandage diagonally from the bottom of the toes across the foot’s top and circle it around the ankle. Now bring the bandage diagonally across the top of the foot and under the arch in a figure-eight pattern.
  • When you get to the ankle bone, wrap the bandage around the felt piece so it stays in place under the ankle bone. Continue around the ankle and foot in a figure-eight motion, moving toward the heel on the bottom and toward the calf at the top of the eight.
  • The wrap should cover the entire foot and end about four inches above the ankle. Most compression wraps are self-fastening or come with clip fasteners. If not, use tape to secure the end. The wrap should be snug but should not cut off circulation to the foot.

Again, this is often a temporary solution and not a recommended therapy to address the issue. If pain or discomfort persists, you should schedule an appointment to be seen in the office at which time your doctor will evaluate and determine a proper course of action to help you back to health.

Our goal is to be sure that you are feeling your best. If that is not the case, please reach out today so that we can determine how best to help you!