The reason why this procedure works is that the pressure applied to the inflamed area controls pain and prevents further pain and swelling. Like the ice technique, this recovery mechanism works best when applied immediately after swelling has been noticed. To compress an area, use an elastic bandage, support pantyhose, tape or even compression socks or cabbage leaves. Compression socks work best for swollen ankles as the greatest compression occurs in the ankle region and the least amount of compression happens in the calf region.
In this manner, compression fights gravity and helps the body by getting deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart. Compressing an affected area assist in alleviating further swelling and increases blood circulation which aids the healing process. According to the European Society of Sports, Traumatology compression works best when it is done in conjunction with elevation. The compressed swollen ankle must be raised all throughout the day and night to ensure ultimate healing.