If you sprain your ankle on the sports field, you’ll want to protect and compress the injury as soon as possible. This simple ‘field wrap’ technique can be performed in about 30 seconds and requires only a roll of cohesive bandage. Read on for full instructions…
How to Wrap a Sprained Ankle
• Cohesive Bandage, 7.5cm
• Scissors (optional)
Step 1: With the cohesive bandage, start wrapping on the top of the foot. Come down the inside edge of the foot, around the arch, and up the outside edge of the foot. Circle the foot twice in this direction. The degree of overlap is not important at this stage.
Step 2: After circling the foot twice, bring the cohesive bandage back over the top of the foot, turn across the inside of the ankle and bring the wrap around the back of the heel. (Viewed from above, you are moving around the foot and ankle in a figure-of-eight pattern.)
Step 3: Bring the wrap back across the top of the foot, down the inside of the foot and around the base of the heel. Cover the heel as far back as you can. (I.e. continue the figure-of-eight, but further back on the foot.)
Step 4: Stop wrapping and spool out about another 20cm of cohesive bandage before tearing off the roll. Split this end of the bandage into two equal tails, as pictured. Take the split down to just below the ‘ankle knobble’ (malleolus). Cohesive bandage is easy to tear by hand, but you can use scissors if you want to keep it very neat.
Step 5: Wrap one tail around ankle and then wrap the other tail round in the opposite direction.
Step 6: You’re finsished!
Tip: Icing a sprained ankle will help to numb the pain and reduce swelling somewhat. You can combine icing with compression by including an instant cold pack in this wrap. Just press the instant cold pack onto the injury and wrap over it as you take the cohesive bandage around the ankle – you may need to circle the ankle once more to hold it on firmly.
Advanced Tip: If the sprain turns out to be more serious you can wear this wrap inside a rigid ankle brace (for instance the Actimove TaloCast) to provide compression and stabilization all-in-one.