Your ankles provide support and stability for your body every time you stand, walk, or run. Because of
their key function and the weight they support, your ankles are susceptible to overuse and injury.
Knowing what causes ankle pain will help you understand how to prevent it. Let’s talk about causes,
prevention, and treatment of ankle injuries, and where you can go for long-lasting relief from the pain in
your ankle and other joints.
Causes of Ankle Pain
Some of the most common causes of ankle pain include the following:
- Sprained Ankle
An ankle sprain can happen when the joint suddenly turns or twists unnaturally, causing one or more ligaments to overstretch or tear. Walking on uneven ground and wearing the wrong shoes are factors that increase your risk of getting a sprained ankle
- Broken Ankle
Fractures are due to overuse, disease (such as osteoporosis or arthritis), or trauma. In particular, an ankle fracture is common in people who play high-impact, high-speed, or balance sports. Running, football, and snow skiing are some of the sports that increase your risk of breaking one or more bones in your ankle. Most of the time, a broken ankle is due to a car accident or a fall.
Inflammation of one or more tendons is known as tendonitis. This condition occurs when the tendons are irritated from an injury, overuse, or health conditions like diabetes or arthritis. It can affect the ankle when the Achilles’ tendon is inflamed, because this tendon connects the calf muscles to your heel.
Arthritis is the inflammation and/or wear and tear of a joint, and it can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Common types of arthritis that can cause ankle pain include gout, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Home Remedies for Ankle Pain
You can take care of a mild ankle injury at home. The home remedies that help alleviate ankle pain
include the RICE method and over-the-counter pain relievers.
This helpful treatment for ankle pain is an acronym that stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation:
- Rest -When ankle pain occurs, take a break and rest the area. You may also avoid certain activities that stress your ankles to prevent more pain and swelling.
- Ice – Use an ice pack wrapped in fabric, or take an ice slush bath when the pain occurs. When using an ice pack, apply it to your hurting ankle for 15 to 20 minutes, and repeat every two to three hours during the day.
- Compression – Wrap your ankle (but not too tightly) with an elastic bandage to help stop the swelling.
- Elevation – Place your ankle at a level above your heart, as this may also help reduce the swelling. Elevation works because gravity helps to drain the excess fluids from the ankle toward the heart in the circulatory and lymphatic system.
You can also take over-the-counter medicine to help relieve mild to moderate ankle pain. If your pain persists, it is in your best interest to see a doctor for more in-depth treatment.
Ankle Pain Prevention
Warming up before you play sports or exercise can help prevent ankle pain, as it prepares your body for physical activity. It works by increasing blood flow to your muscles and loosening the muscle tissue by increasing your body temperature.
You also need to wear supportive shoes in order to avoid ankle injury. When buying shoes, find a pair that is suitable for your foot type and your activity. It will also be helpful to minimize wearing high heels, as they increase your risk of ankle injuries. If you must wear shoes with heels, make sure that the heels themselves are wide and support your weight.
Orthopedic Treatment in North Dakota
Our board-certified orthopedic specialists at The Bone & Joint Center will diagnose and treat your ankle pain. We treat all conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, and we are also adept at addressing sports injuries such as concussions.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. Let us help you keep your ankles healthy and pain-free!