Ankle Pain Care & Treatment in North Texas
Ankle pain can be a result of injury. When the ankle is twisted or turned in an awkward manner and the ligaments are forced to move beyond their normal range of movement.
Ankle pain may also be a result of several different types of conditions. Injuries of the ankle bones, tendons and ligaments can cause ankle pain. Several different types of arthritis can lead to ankle pain.
Causes of Ankle pain
Ankle pain can be caused by injury and several other conditions. People who engage in sports such as football, running, jogging, are at higher risk of sustaining an ankle injury. Though ankle injuries are common causes of ankle pain, there are several other medical conditions that may cause ankle pain. These include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Avulsion fracture
- Broken foot
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Plantar fasciitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Sprained ankle
- Stress fractures
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Symptoms of Ankle pain
- Instability of the ankle
- Abnormal or restricted movement
- Looseness of the joint
Your podiatrist will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination to ascertain the cause of the pain. If the pain was caused by an injury, you may be asked to stand or walk around the room to enable your doctor to determine the extent of damage.
If the pain is caused by arthritis or other medical condition, your doctor may conduct imaging scans such as X-ray to ascertain the severity of the condition.
The treatment of ankle pain depends on the cause and severity of the pain. Mild ankle pain can be treated using home remedies while severe ankle pain requires professional medical treatments.
If you have a mild ankle injury or pain, you can simply treat yourself at home without having to go to the clinic. You can use the R.I.C.E approach for treatment.
- Rest. You should always take some rest and avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. Also, limit the amount of walking and weight-bearing on the injured ankle.
- Ice. Apply ice pack on the pain area for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat it every two to three hours while you’re awake. It is not advisable to apply ice packs directly to the skin. Wrap the ice pack in a towel before placing it on the ankle. Talk with your doctor first before applying ice if you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation.
- Compression. Compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Be careful when compressing the ankle so as not to compress too tightly as this can hinder circulation.
- Elevation. Elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night to reduce swelling. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.
In most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are enough to relieve the pain. In case of swelling or inflammation, anti-inflammatory medications can be given to reduce it.
You may need to use supports to decrease the weight applied to the ankle. This will help to relieve pain and promote quick healing. Your primary care physician may prescribe using an elastic bandage, sports tape or ankle support to stabilize the ankle. If you have a severe sprain, a cast or walking boot might be important to immobilize the lower leg while the ligament heals.
When pain is reduced enough to continue movement, you may be required to commence exercises or physical activities in order to restore your ankle’s range of motion, flexibility, strength and stability. Your primary care physician or a physical therapist will suggest the best and most appropriate exercises and physical activities that you should do.
Stability and balance training are particularly essential to retrain the ankle muscles to effectively support the joint and to help forestall repetitive sprains.
In case you sprained your ankle while practicing or taking an interest in a game, talk with your primary care physician about when you can resume your sport. Your physician may need you to perform specific actions and movement tests to decide how well your ankle functions. Physical therapy programs are part of the recovery process and incorporating strengthening exercises of the ankle.
Surgery is required in rare cases when the ankle is not responding to other conservative treatment options. When the condition causing the pain is critical, surgical procedures may be required. Surgery may be performed to repair a ligament that won’t heal or reconstruct a ligament.
Fractures are repaired with casting to immobilize the bone to promote healing. Depending on the severity, fractures can require orthopedic casting or surgical procedures such as pinning and open repair of the fractured bone.
A car accident can lead to severe ankle injury. Dislocation of the ankle joint can occur. Ankle dislocation is a serious injury, a complete damage and disruption of the ligaments that support the ankle joints. An ankle dislocation generally requires a surgical repair.
Ankle injury can be prevented by ensuring that the ankle is safe. Sports activities and accidental trauma are common causes of ankle injuries. To prevent ankle injuries and pain;
- Avoid sports activities that have higher tendencies of causing injury to your ankle.
- Always follow proper sport instructions and physical training to avoid or minimize the risk of sustaining an ankle injury or pain.
- Use ankle bracings and supports to shield your ankle from sustaining injury.
- Engage in flexibility exercises to strengthen the ankle.
- Avoid high-impact exercises that cause strain to the ankle.
- Wear good support shoes and socks to shield the ankle from external objects.
- Avoid engaging in physical activities with increased risk of sustaining ankle injury.
- If you have arthritis or any other medical condition, follow your doctor’s advice to prevent sustaining a severe ankle pain.