Ankle pain is discomfort affecting any part of your ankle, including bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is common in athletes and people that engage in activities that place extra pressure on the joint, but it can affect anyone. The causes of Portland ankle pain can range from acute injuries like sprains to long-term conditions like arthritis. Ankle pain takes various forms, a burning, aching, or throbbing sensation that may come on suddenly or gradually. Knowing the details of your pain can help your healthcare provider establish the cause of your pain.
What causes ankle pain
Ankle pain has several causes; it can result from sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, fractures, or certain diseases, disorders, and conditions. For example, arthritis of the ankle can cause pain and stiffness; this age-related disease occurs when cartilage breaks down, allowing bones to rub on each other. Flatfoot can also cause ankle pain and swelling; arches don’t develop normally during childhood or collapse later in life due to an injury.
Although rare, ankle pain may be due to gout, bone infection, tumors, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and peroneal neuropathy.
How can I relieve ankle pain?
In most cases, ankle pain improves with at-home care, including rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. To treat ankle pain at home, your provider may recommend the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest is especially important if you have had an injury such as a sprain. You want to stay off your feet; your healthcare provider will advise you on how long you should rest. Use crutches or a walking boot to help you get around without placing weight on your ankle.
If your ankle is swollen, apply ice or a cold compress to the area for about 15 to 20 minutes every few hours; this will help reduce the swelling. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you warp an elastic bandage around your ankle to reduce inflammation. Elevating your ankle above your heart each time you rest will help reduce swelling. Try to sleep with your foot elevated at night to prevent swelling. Over-the-counter pain medication can also help alleviate pain and swelling, but talk to your doctor before taking any drugs.
You also want to offer adequate support for your feet and ankles, especially when playing sports like volleyball and basketball, which can lead to ankle injuries. Limit how often you wear sandals, flip-flops, and shoes that are too loose.
How does a physician treat ankle pain?
Most ankle pain improves with home treatments like rest, ice, compression, elevation, and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, severe cases often need further treatment; this depends on the cause of the ankle pain. Your healthcare provider may use braces and splints to relieve pain and stabilize your ankle. Sometimes joint aspiration is necessary to remove excess fluid; this minimally invasive procedure alleviates pain and swelling. Other treatments that your provider may recommend include steroid injections, physical therapy, medications, orthotic inserts, and in severe cases, surgery.
If you have disabling ankle pain, book an appointment with your provider at Sports Health Northwest, Inc for treatment to improve your quality of life.