Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast: Does Ice Help an Ankle Sprain?

Does Ice Help an Ankle Sprain?


While recently browsing through Twitter, I noticed a debate in the athletic training twitter world about whether or not icing is beneficial following an ankle sprain. There was some significant discussion on both sides of the issue, so I thought I’d do a little dive into the research out there and get everyone current on what we know about the role of ice following an acute lateral ankle sprain.


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Links from this Episode:

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— Hocutt JE Jr, Jaffe R, Rylander CR, Beebe JK. Cryotherapy in ankle sprains. Am J Sports Med. 1982 Sep-Oct;10(5):316-9. doi: 10.1177/036354658201000512. PMID: 6814272.

— Sloan JP, Hain R, Pownall R. Clinical benefits of early cold therapy in accident and emergency following ankle sprain. Arch Emerg Med. 1989 Mar;6(1):1-6. doi: 10.1136/emj.6.1.1. PMID: 2712981; PMCID: PMC1285549.

— Bleakley CM, McDonough SM, MacAuley DC, Bjordal J. Cryotherapy for acute ankle sprains: a randomised controlled study of two different icing protocols. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Aug;40(8):700-5; discussion 705. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.025932. Epub 2006 Apr 12. PMID: 16611722; PMCID: PMC2579462.

— Tittley J, Hébert LJ, Roy JS. Should ice application be replaced with neurocryostimulation for the treatment of acute lateral ankle sprains? A randomized clinical trial. J Foot Ankle Res. 2020 Dec 1;13(1):69. doi: 10.1186/s13047-020-00436-6. PMID: 33261633; PMCID: PMC7708120.

— Miranda JP, Silva WT, Silva HJ, Mascarenhas RO, Oliveira VC. Effectiveness of cryotherapy on pain intensity, swelling, range of motion, function and recurrence in acute ankle sprain: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Phys Ther Sport. 2021 May;49:243-249. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2021.03.011. Epub 2021 Mar 26. PMID: 33813154.

— Fredberg U, Hansen PA, Skinhøj A. Ibuprofen in the treatment of acute ankle joint injuries. A double-blind study. Am J Sports Med. 1989 Jul-Aug;17(4):564-6. doi: 10.1177/036354658901700419. PMID: 2675651.

— Kaminski TW, Hertel J, Amendola N, Docherty CL, Dolan MG, Hopkins JT, Nussbaum E, Poppy W, Richie D; National Athletic Trainers’ Association. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: conservative management and prevention of ankle sprains in athletes. J Athl Train. 2013 Jul-Aug;48(4):528-45. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.4.02. PMID: 23855363; PMCID: PMC3718356.


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The Host of this Program:

Dr. Mark Halstead - Host of The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast - St. Louis, MOMark Halstead: 

Dr. Mark Halstead received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He stayed at the University of Wisconsin for his pediatric residency, followed by a year as the chief resident. Following residency, he completed a pediatric and adult sports medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has been an elected member to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and the Board of Directors of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). He has served as a team physician or medical consultant to numerous high schools, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Washington University, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Athletica, and St. Louis Rams. He serves and has served on many local, regional and national committees as an advisor for sports medicine and concussions. Dr. Halstead is a national recognized expert in sport-related concussions and pediatric sports medicine.

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