Ankle pain can be caused by a variety of injuries or medical conditions. Traumatic injuries, such as ankle sprains and strains after running are common causes of ankle pain. These types of injuries may result from a fall or twisting the ankle, either due to an uneven surface or improper movement while playing sports.
Overuse injuries, including tendinitis or bursitis, can also be the cause of swelling and foot and ankle pain in the joint. Arthritis is another condition that can lead to painful ankles. In addition to these more common causes of anterior ankle pain or medial ankle pain, certain diseases like gout and diabetes can contribute to swelling and discomfort in the ankles.
No matter the cause, understanding what’s going on is key in finding relief and prevention in the future.
Treatment: How to Relieve Ankle Pain
When you’ve got a pain in your ankle, it can be hard to focus on anything else. Fortunately, there are a few simple treatments that may help reduce the discomfort and get you back on your feet in no time.
- Rest: When you experience ankle pain, the first thing to do is rest. This means limiting activity or avoiding it altogether until the pain subsides. To reduce pressure on your ankle joint further, try using crutches for additional support and taking frequent breaks while standing or walking.
- Ice and Heat Therapy: Both ice and heat can help ease the discomfort of ankle pain. For sudden injuries, such as a strain or sprain, immediately apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected area. After 48 hours, switch to a heat therapy like a heating pad or warm compress to promote healing by increasing blood flow.
- Compression: Wearing compression bandages around the affected joint can help reduce swelling and provide support. These bandages are typically wrap-around style; however, you can also use body sleeves or braces to achieve similar results.
- Exercise: Once the pain has subsided a bit, it’s important to begin stretching and strengthening exercises to improve flexibility and the range of motion around your ankle joint. This is essential for improving mobility and preventing future injuries from occurring. Simple exercises like calf raises, toe curls, and ankle rotations are great options that can be done at home with minimal equipment.
- Chiropractic Adjustments: Chiropractors may use adjustments or manipulations to improve joint mobility and alignment in the ankle. They apply controlled force to the affected joint to restore normal range of motion, reduce pain, and promote healing. Chiropractic adjustments can also alleviate stress on surrounding tissues and improve overall joint function.
- Physical Therapy: Visiting a physical therapist can also be immensely helpful when dealing with ankle pain. The therapist will assess your condition and create an individualized plan for treating it, which may include soft tissue massage, stretching exercises, joint mobilization techniques, and other modalities designed to reduce inflammation and improve strength and flexibility.
- Orthotics: If you have flat feet or other biomechanical problems that are contributing to ankle pain, orthotics can help relieve pressure by providing extra cushioning and support in areas of the foot where it is needed.
- Prevention: The best way to avoid ankle pain in the future is to take preventive measures such as stretching regularly, wearing supportive shoes, and avoiding high-impact activities that can aggravate your symptoms. If you’re already dealing with ankle pain, be sure to rest and ice the affected area regularly.
If you’re still experiencing pain or have any concerns about your injury, it’s best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.