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What Is Causing Your Ankle Pain, and What Can You Do?

What Is Causing Your Ankle Pain, and What Can You Do?

Posted On: June 17, 2022

On average, about 9 to 15 percent of adults are dealing with some sort of ankle pain according to research. Ankle pain can be difficult to deal with and can even be deliberating if you’re unable to even walk on it. However, for those of us dealing with such pain, there are treatment options.

Which is what we are going to go over today. What causes ankle pain for adults and what are the common treatments for relieving your pain and getting your life back to normal.

Let’s take a look!

What Are the Common Causes of Ankle Pain?

There are a few common causes of ankle pain that doctors see frequently.

One of the more common causes is an ankle sprain. This occurs when you roll your ankle in an awkward way, causing the ligaments to stretch or tear.

The ligaments are the band of tissue connecting your bones together and providing stability to the joint. When they become damaged, it can cause immense pain and make it difficult to put any weight on your ankle without excruciating pain.

Another common cause of ankle pain is Achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and helps you raise your foot when you walk. This condition is usually caused by overuse.

Although these two are very common, there are a few other reasons adults develop ankle pain, these can include things such as:

  • Arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, gout)
  • Ankle Stress fracture
  • Ankle sprain
  • Broken ankle
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Plantar fasciitis

Diagnosis for Ankle Pain

Now that we know some of the common ankle conditions that can cause ankle pain, let’s move on to how these conditions are diagnosed.

The first step is usually a consultation with your doctor. During this visit, your doctor will ask you questions about your ankle pain. They’ll want to know when it started, how long you’ve been dealing with it, what activities make the pain better or worse, and if you’ve tried any home remedies.

Your doctor will also give you a physical examination. This will help them determine which structures in your ankle are causing you pain. They’ll want to see if you experiencing ankle pain when walking or standing.

They may also order imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to get a better look at what’s going on inside that could be causing ankle pain and swelling.

All of these examinations and tests are going to give them the ability to find the best ankle pain treatment option for your specific case.

Symptoms of Ankle Pain

If you’re unsure about the symptoms of ankle pain or when you should visit a podiatrist, there are a few telltale signs to look out for. These include:

  • The inability to walk without pain
  • Any deformity around your ankle
  • Ankle tendon pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Ankle pain that continues beyond just a few days
  • The inability to bend your ankle
  • Swelling of the ankle joint or calf area
  • Any other unusual symptoms related to inner ankle pain

If you’re experiencing any of these, or ankle pain that is just becoming increasingly unbearable, it’s time to consult a podiatrist right away. This way they can diagnose, provide treatment, and get your life back to normal.

Treatment Options for Ankle Pain

Once you’ve been diagnosed with ankle pain, there are a few options your doctor may recommend for treatment. Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, how intense it is, and where within your ankle area it is, will determine the best treatment plan for you.

RICE

RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation. This is a method often recommended for ankle pain caused by things such as ankle sprains or ankle tendonitis. This can also help with the swelling that comes along with ankle injuries.

Support or Stability Medical Braces

Sometimes ankle pain is caused by instability in the ankle joint. This can be due to an ankle sprain or other injury that has damaged the ligaments or surrounding tissue. In these cases, your doctor may recommend wearing a support brace to help stabilize the ankle and reduce pain.

Corticosteroid Injections

If you’re dealing with ankle pain that is caused by conditions such as arthritis, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections. These injections help to reduce inflammation in the ankle joint and can provide relief from pain.

Physical Therapy

In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended to help improve ankle strength and flexibility. This can also help with chronic ankle pain caused by conditions such as Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.

Surgery

In severe cases, ankle surgery may be necessary to repair ligaments or tendons that have been damaged. This is usually only recommended if other treatment options have not been successful in alleviating ankle pain.

Preventing Ankle Pain

Treating ankle pain is only half of the battle. Whether you have already experienced ankle pain before or not, preventing it from happening is key. There are a few things you can do to prevent ankle pain from happening in the first place. These include:

  • Wearing proper shoes that support your feet and ankles
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises for your ankles
  • Avoiding high-impact activities if you have ankle pain
  • Wearing ankle support when participating in sports or other activities

If you’re already dealing with ankle pain, but have not visited the doctor yet, it’s a good idea to apply the RICE treatment until you are able to see a medical professional.

  • Resting your ankle as much as possible
  • Applying ice to the ankle several times a day
  • Elevating your ankle when you’re not moving around
  • Wear an ankle support brace

Dealing with Ankle Pain

Ankle pain can be a frustrating and debilitating experience. However, understanding the common causes and available treatment options can help you get on the path to recovery. If you’re experiencing ankle pain, consult a medical professional right away to get started on the road to recovery.

If you have ankle pain and have questions, we’re here to help. Give us a call today!