Ankle pain is any pain or discomfort affecting any part of the ankle. It can happen for many reasons. The most common causes include injury, arthritis, and regular wear and tear. Depending on the grounds, you may feel pain or stiffness around the ankle. Your ankle might also swell, and you may be unable to put any weight on it.
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About Ankle Pain
It occurs when there is an injury and the ankle twists uncomfortably. Examples include footwear that doesn’t fit, such as ski boots, high heels, sprains, strains, overuse, disuse, or trauma.
This can stretch or tear the stiff bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold the ankle bones together. A sprained [ankle] causes swelling, pain, and a limited range of motion.
Many people treat a sprained [ankle] at home with rest, ice, and pain relievers. Severe sprains may require medical evaluation.
Symptoms of Ankle Pain
The signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. Some of them are:
- Pain, especially when weight is placed on the affected foot.
- Slight pain when touching the ankle.
- Limited range of motion
- Instability of the ankle
- A clicking sound or sensation at the time of injury
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Complications of Ankle Pain
Failure to properly treat an ankle sprain, engaging in activities too soon after an ankle sprain, or having repeated sprains can lead to the following complications:
- Chronic pain in the ankle
- Chronic instability of the ankle joint.
- Arthritis in the ankle joint.
Tips to Prevent Ankle Pain
The following tips can help you prevent an ankle sprain or prevent it from happening again:
- Warm up before exercising or playing sports.
- Be careful when walking, running, or working on an uneven surface.
- Use an immobilization device or adhesive belt on the previously weakened or injured ankle.
- Wear shoes that fit well and are made for your activity.
- Minimize and use of heels.
- Do not play sports or participate in activities that you are not prepared for.
- Maintain good muscle strength and flexibility.
- Stability practice, including balancing efforts.
Causes of Ankle Pain
We see a lot of ankle sprains and strains in children and adults. A sprain means that you have damaged ligaments (strong, rope-like tissue bands) connecting to your ankle bones.
These laborious ligaments are easy to twist. It can be mild, a stretched ligament, moderate (partial tear), or severe (total tear). Mild or moderate sprains rarely require surgery.
It is similar to a sprained ankle, except this time, a tendon or muscle around the ankle has been stretched or torn. The muscle or tendon is inflamed at the site and hurts walking.
Arthritis in the Ankle
Three bones make up the ankle joint. Each bone has cartilage, soft tissue that helps cushion the space between the bones so they work together smoothly when you move. As you get older, your cartilage ages too.
Suppose you have previously suffered a traumatic ankle injury, such as a dislocation or fracture. In that case, you are seven times more likely to develop post-traumatic arthritis than someone without that type of injury. The same principle applies to other joints, such as the knee.
Achilles tendonitis is an overload injury of the calf muscles. If you are a runner or play a sport like tennis or racquetball on the weekend, Achilles tendonitis could be the cause. The Achilles tendon runs from the calf muscles to the heel bone so you may feel pain with this injury.
Treatment for Ankle Pain
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Although self-care measures and over-the-counter pain relievers may be sufficient, a medical evaluation may be required to reveal the extent of the sprain and determine the appropriate treatment.