Many believe the myth that soaking an injured foot or ankle in hot water immediately after the injury takes place will assist with healing, reduce swelling, or alleviate pain. However, hot water causes the blood vessels to open, allowing blood to rapidly rush to the injury, causing greater swelling, pain, and pressure on the nerves.
When dealing with injuries, immediate ankle and foot care should include cold compresses. A bag of ice wrapped in a towel produces a contracting and numbing effect on blood vessels, which lessens swelling and pain. Warm compresses and soaks may be utilized 48–72 hours later.