Ankle pain describes any kind of pain or discomfort in your ankles. This pain could be caused by an injury, like a sprain, or by a medical condition, like arthritis. According to the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), an ankle sprain is one of the most common causes of ankle pain — making up 85 percent of all ankle injuries. A sprain happens when your ligaments (the tissues that connect bones) tear or get overstretched.
Many ankle sprains are lateral sprains, which take place when your foot rolls, causing your outdoors ankle to twist towards the ground. This action extends or rips the ligaments.
A sprained ankle typically swells and contusions for about 7 to 14 days. Nevertheless, it might take a few months for a serious injury to heal fully.
Continue reading to find out reasons for ankle pain and how to treat it.
Conditions With Ankle Pain as a Symptom
A sprain is a typical reason for ankle pain. Sprains are generally caused when the ankle rolls or twists so that the outdoors ankle moves toward the ground, tearing the ligaments of the ankle that hold the bones together.
Rolling the ankle can also cause damage to the cartilage or tendons of your ankle.
Pain can likewise be a result of:
- arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis
- nerve damage or injury, such as sciatica
- blocked blood vessels
- infection in the joint
Gout occurs when uric acid develops in the body. This higher-than-normal concentration of uric acid (a by-product of the body’s regular breakdown of old cells) can deposit crystals in the joints, triggering sharp pain.
Pseudogout is a similar condition where calcium deposits build up in the joints. Signs of both gout and pseudogout consist of pain, swelling, and redness. Arthritis can likewise trigger ankle pain. Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints.
Numerous types of arthritis can trigger pain in the ankles, however osteoarthritis is the most typical. Osteoarthritis is often triggered by wear and tear on the joints. The older people are, the most likely they are to develop osteoarthritis.
Septic arthritis is arthritis that’s caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. This can cause pain in the ankles, if the ankles are one of the locations contaminated.
Caring for Ankle Pain at Home
For immediate at-home treatment of ankle pain, the RICE method is advised. This includes:
- Rest. Avoid putting weight on your ankle. Try to move just possible for the first couple of days. Use crutches or a cane if you have to stroll or move.
- Ice. Begin by putting a bag of ice on your ankle for at least 20 minutes at a time, with 90 minutes in between icing sessions. Do this three to five times a day for 3 days after the injury. This helps reduce swelling and numb pain.
- Compression. Wrap your hurt ankle with an elastic bandage, like an ACE bandage. Don’t wrap it so tightly that your ankle ends up being numb or that your toes turn blue.
- Elevation. Whenever possible, keep your ankle raised above heart level on a stack of pillows or other type of support structure.
You can take over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve pain and swelling. Once your pain subsides, carefully exercise your ankle by rotating it in circles. Rotate in both directions, and stop if it begins to harm.
You can likewise use your hands to carefully flex the ankle up and down. These exercises will return your range of motion, help in reducing swelling, and speed up the recovery process.
If your ankle pain is an outcome of arthritis, you won’t have the ability to entirely heal the injury. However, there are ways you can manage it. It may help to:
- use topical pain relievers
- take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to minimize pain, swelling, and inflammation
- stay physically active and follow a fitness program focusing on moderate exercise
- practice healthy eating practices
- stretch to maintain a great range of motion in your joints
- keep your body weight within a healthy variety, which will lessen stress on the joints
Ankle Pain Treatment Options
If lifestyle adjustments and OTC treatments just aren’t cutting the pain, it might be time to check out other options.
An orthopedic shoe insert or foot or ankle brace is a terrific nonsurgical way to help straighten your joints and keep pain and discomfort at bay. Available in various sizes and degrees of tightness, inserts support different parts of the foot and rearrange body weight, thereby supplying pain relief.
An ankle brace works much in the same way. These braces are available in various sizes and levels of support. Some can be worn with routine shoes, while others are a bit more all encompassing, looking like a cast that covers both the ankle as well as the foot.
While a couple of ranges might be available at the drugstore or drug store, it’s best to seek advice from a doctor to be fitted properly.
Steroid injections may be utilized to reduce pain and inflammation. Injections include a medicine called corticosteroid, which minimize swelling stiffness and pain in the afflicted area.
A lot of injections take just a couple of minutes and provide relief within a few hours, while the impacts are said to last from 3 to 6 months. The best part is, this is a noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure that can have you home resting on the exact same day.
When to Consult a Doctor
While a lot of ankle sprains recover with a little TLC and at-home care, it is very important to know when the injury has advanced past that point.
Those who experience extreme swelling or bruising, along with the failure to put weight or pressure on the location without significant pain, must consult a doctor.
Another basic guideline is to seek medication attention if there’s been no improvement throughout the course of the first few days.
Ankle pain is often caused by common injuries like a sprain, or medical conditions like arthritis, gout, or nerve damage. Discomfort commonly can be found in the form of swelling and bruising for 1 to 2 weeks.
Throughout that time, try to rest, raise your foot, and ice your ankle three to 5 times a day for the first couple of days. OTC medication may supply some relief too.
But if pain still continues after that, head to the doctor to go over all of your alternatives, from unique ankle braces and shoes to surgical treatment.