NFL player Chad Johnson’s Urine Treatment for Sprained Ankles (Ochocinco)

Former NFL football player Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) treated his ankle sprains with urine. He would actually get donations of urine from other NFL players. Chad revealed this treatment on the ESPN television show Mike & Mike.

Quote: “I would collect warm urine from my teammates, heat it up, and put my ankle in it for 30 minutes.” – Chad Johnson

Is soaking your sprained ankle in urine a valid treatment? What does the medical literature say?

Chad Johnson, by the way, was a wide receiver in the National Football League. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. He was an outstanding player and made the Pro Bowl many times. When he wore number 85, he acquired the nickname Ochocinco, and legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco before eventually changing it back to Chad Johnson.

I have come up with a list of treatments for a sprained ankle by researching the medical literature. I will study the treatment benefit for all of these treatments using our new technology called the Treatment Score Analyzer™, and will produce Treatment Scores.

Treatment List:
1. crutches until free of pain
2. rest
3. ice
4. elevation
5. heat
6. urine soaks (the Chad Johnson, Ochocinco, method)
7. contrast baths (alternating hot and cold)

Let’s begin with the Chad Johnson method of soaking a sprained ankle in warm urine collected from other people. I went to Medline and searched every combination of “sprained ankle,” “ankle sprain,” “ankle swelling,” and “urine” that I could imagine. How many clinical studies did I find for this urine treatment? Zilch, nada, none.

This means that “warm urine baths” for treating a sprained ankle has a Treatment Score of zero, or even more accurately “no data,” because there are no studies.

Is there any reason to think that soaking your sprained ankle in urine would be beneficial? Is there something in urine that might be absorbed through the skin that would be beneficial to a sprained ankle? Does urine, because it can be hypertonic, pull something out of a swollen ankle that might be beneficial? I could find nothing. It’s a hypothesis with basically no clinical evidence to support it at this time.
Did Chad Johnson feel better? I sent him the following tweet: “@ochocinco Chad, do you believe that soaking your sprained ankles in warm urine worked? Did your ankle feel better after such treatment?”

The way medical science works is that you do a case report, do better studies, and eventually do a randomized controlled trial to remove all biases and get at the most objective truth possible.

If Chad Johnson believes treating a sprained ankle by soaking it in warm urine works, he should help see that a proper study gets done. Who knows what a study would show? That’s why we do studies.

The bottom line is that the Treatment Score = 0 for treating a sprained ankle by soaking it in warm urine. Or, perhaps more accurately the Treatment Score = no data, because no clinical studies have been done.

The future of medicine has arrived. It is no longer good enough to talk about treatments without quantification with Treatment Scores. Our website tools are at Our blog is here at If you are a health writer, or health blogger, who wants to write evidence-based medicine articles with quantification, please contact Dr.Hennenfent [(at)]

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Chad Johnson, Mike & Mike, television show, February 10th, 2016.


Chad Johnson Biography

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