Wound Care

A Guide to Different Ankle Pain Treatment Options

A Guide to Different Ankle Pain Treatment Options

Posted On: November 21, 2022

When you engage in any type of activity that involves your legs, your ankles and feet bear the brunt of all your weight. From simple activities such as standing and walking, to running and jumping, your ankles withstand tremendous amounts of pressure on a daily, even hourly, basis.

When you experience ankle pain, this is generally a tell-tale sign of a few different issues. It might stem from overuse of the ankles or feet, underlying injury, or some type of chronic condition. It’s not normal to live with ankle pain, so it’s important to seek out the right ankle pain treatment.

Learn more about to what expect from treatment in this blog.

What Causes Ankle Pain?

Your ankles are one of the hardest working joints in the body. The irony is that many of us tend to take this for granted until we experience ankle problems. Some of the most common ankle pain causes include:

  • Ankle sprains — these injuries occur when you overstretch the ligaments, causing them to tear
  • Ankle tendonitis — this is a soft tissue injury when you tear the tendon from muscle, which attaches to the ankle bone
  • Ankle bursitis — this is a condition that causes pain when the bursae sacs that cushion your bones become irritated and inflamed
  • Ankle fractures — often caused by sports injuries, and slip and fall accidents

Aside from these ankle injuries, there are a number of conditions and diseases that can also cause ankle issues. Some of the most common include arthritis, gout, and infection in the ankle joint, such as cellulitis. Flatfoot is also prevalent — this is when you have a very low foot arch which causes pain and swelling in the ankles.

Common Ankle Pain Treatment Options

As the saying goes: ”time heals all wounds”, and this couldn’t apply more to treating ankle pain. In many cases, ankle injuries can resolve themselves with enough rest, pain medication, and therapy.

One of the most commonly prescribed treatment options includes the RICE method. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Injuries such as ankle sprains, and tendonitis simply require the RICE method, along with regular therapy.

Let’s take a closer look at RICE therapy:

  • Rest — your doctor will tell you to stay off your feet as much as possible. You may also need a walking boot or crutches to avoid putting pressure on your ankle as it heals
  • Ice — icing your ankle and injury is essential in reducing the swelling. It’s important to ice the area every few hours or so for 15-20 minutes
  • Compression — this is a great way to reduce swelling and keep inflammation in control. Your doctor might wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage to help the area heal
  • Elevation — it’s super important to keep your ankle elevated as much as possible. The reason for this is to keep inflammation at bay. Keep your ankle elevated above your chest when sitting or lying down, especially at night
  • Medication — along with all of the above, you can use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs to help control your pain levels and reduce swelling

Finally, your doctor will tell you to invest in some supportive footwear. It’s important to wear the right footwear on your ”good” foot as your ankle heals, and thereafter to prevent ankle pain. This is especially important when playing any types of sports such as basketball and volleyball which are notorious with rolled ankles.

More Serious Forms of Treatment

If you have a more serious ankle injury, chronic condition, or severe pain, you doctor might recommend any of these treatment options:

  • An ankle brace or splint — these help to stabilize your ankle joint as it heals, which, in turn, can relieve your pain. You might need to wear a brace during certain activities once you’ve healed to avoid repeat injury
  • Ankle joint aspiration — this a procedure that involves removing excess fluid from the ankle joint in order to relieve pressure. Your doctor inserts a needle into the joint, withdrawing fluid, which then helps to relieve pain and swelling
  • Shoe inserts — also known as orthotic inserts, they slip into your shoes to help stabilize your feet and ensure you walk with proper alignment. This is a good preventative treatment against repeat injuries
  • Cortisone Injections — this form of treatment is very helpful in reducing large amounts of swelling, and relieving pain
  • Condition-specific medication — your doctor will prescribe a particular type of medication according to your condition, such as gout or arthritis
  • Surgery — if you have a more severe type of injury, you may require surgery on your ankle. Some types of surgeries are also beneficial in correcting flat feet and relieving arthritis pain

Aside from all of the above, physical therapy is probably one of the most popular and beneficial treatment options for most ankle issues. Physical therapy is so important in building up muscle strength in the ankles, and improving flexibility and mobility.

Your doctor might specialize in physical therapy exercises to help you regain strength and relieve pain. Or, they might refer you to a physical therapist who will develop a specific plan according to the healing you need.

Top-Class Ankle Pain Treatment at Your Fingertips

Whether you’re experiencing ankle pain from an injury, overuse, or an unexplained condition, our team at Graff Foot, Ankle & Wound Care are here to help you find the right solution.

We offer expert medical professionals dedicated to helping you live a life without ankle or foot pain. Learn more about the ankle pain treatment we offer.