Ankle Pain: Causes & Prevention

Ankle Pain: Causes & Prevention

Healthcare News

Ankle Pain: Causes & Prevention

Ankle pain is any pain or discomfort affecting our ankle. Ankle pain can arise due to many reasons. The most common factors causing ankle pain are injury, arthritis, and normal wear and tear. 

Depending on the cause, the pain or stiffness may vary from person to person. Our ankles are essential for us as they help us walk, stand, and move freely. The slightest discomfort in the ankle may affect our movement. 

Table of Content:

  • Causes of Ankle Pain

  • Diseases that lead to Ankle Pain

  • Relieving an existing Ankle Pain

  • Prevent Ankle Pain

Causes of Ankle Pain

Ankle injuries and pain are common in people across age groups. Some common causes may include:

  • Injuries during sports or activities involving jumping, quick changes in direction, or side-to-side movements may cause an ankle sprain.

  • Certain conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Achilles Tendinitis may trigger ankle pain.

  • Accidents may also cause broken ankles, fractures, or injury in any part of the ankle.

  • Ageing also is a main factor for ankle pain. People above 60 years are prone to ankle pain.

  • Inappropriate footwear, especially high heels.

  • Being overweight or obese.

Diseases that lead to Ankle Pain

Certain diseases or disorders can also lead to ankle pain. These include:

  • Infection: Infections like cellulitis can cause pain and swelling in the ankle joint. A bone infection called osteomyelitis can develop due to a staph infection and cause ankle pain.

  • Arthritis: Pain and stiffness in the ankle occurs due to ankle arthritis. Several types of arthritis can affect the ankles. Common types include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Gout: It occurs due to the accumulation of uric acid. Gout in the ankle can be excruciating and leads to ankle pain.

  • Flatfoot: A very low arch or no arch can cause pain and swelling in the ankles and feet.

Exercises to ease ankle pain
Exercises to ease ankle pain

Relieving an existing Ankle Pain

Most ankle pain gets better with rest, ice, and medication. However, the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is the most effective way to relieve ankle pain. The most common home treatments for ankle pain are:

  • Resting: If you have an injury such as a sprain, you must stay off your feet for a while. Avoid putting your body weight on the ankle; you may use crutches to support yourself for a few days.

  • Ice: Apply ice to reduce swelling in the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours.

  • Compression: You may consider wrapping an elastic bandage around your ankle to reduce inflammation, but it must not be too tight.

  • Elevation: Resting your ankle in an elevated position above your heart may reduce the swelling. 

  • Over-the-counter pain medication: Certain medications can relieve pain and reduce swelling, consult your doctor before taking such medicines.

  • Supportive footwear: Ensure your shoes adequately support your feet and ankles. Avoid foot ware that is too loose. It is essential to wear suitable footwear when playing sports. 

You must see a orthopaedic if your ankle pain is severe or still hurts post-At-Home care. One must avoid wearing heels in case of ankle pain, injury, or sprain.

Preventing Ankle Pain

One may not always be able to prevent ankle pain; sometimes, factors beyond our control may cause discomfort in our ankle. But keeping our bones, tendons, and ligaments strong can help us maintain good health. To prevent ankle pain, you must ensure below points:

  • Warm up properly: Stretching before any physical activity is vital. Muscles and soft tissues like ligaments and tendons are less likely to be damaged when warm.

  • Maintain a healthy weightCarrying extra weight puts excess pressure on your joints, including your ankles.

  • Strengthen other muscles: By keeping other muscles strong, you will support your ankles and reduce your risk of injury. Exercise as per comfort.

  • Stop if you feel pain: Do not ignore any pain! If a movement or activity is uncomfortable, take a break. Continuing to exercise through pain can make injuries worse.

  • Rest and relax your ankle by doing some light stretches and rotations.

One may experience ankle pain due to several factors, but it is essential to address it before it worsens and restricts our movement. Ensure you take all the preventive measures to relieve ankle pain, and in case it does not subside, you must consult an orthopaedic.