Did you know that your ankle bears a force of roughly five times your body weight when you walk and up to thirteen times your body weight when you run or jump? It’s now easy to see why it is susceptible to injuries and conditions, which can cause pain, instability, and limited mobility.
Whether you’re experiencing ankle ache each time you come home from work or ankle pain that is starting to become a source of misery than a mere nuisance, here are some steps you can take to quell it.
Try R.I.C.E. Therapy
The mainstay of basic treatment for ankle pains is R.I.C.E. therapy: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Overuse is a common reason for ankle pain, so when you start to feel it, stay off your feet, sit down, and avoid putting weight on your ankle. You might want to try crutches and walking boots. These devices help you walk without putting pressure on your ankle.
- Ice helps reduce swelling. You may use either ice or cold compress wrapped in cloth on the affected ankle for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Repeat every hour on the first day, then every three to four hours thereafter, until the swelling subsides.
- Compression relieves inflammation. Remember not to bind it too tightly as it may cut off blood flow, which can cause tissue damage if left for too long.
- Lastly, elevation helps with swelling as well. Put your injured or pained ankle at a height above your heart to reduce inflammation. Consider keeping it elevated overnight.
Invest in proper footwear.
Ill-fitting footwear is a common reason for ankle pain. One of the steps you can take to relieve it is changing your footwear. Make sure that you get something comfortable and that provides structural support, for your ankles, heels, and arches.
Visit a podiatrist.
If your ankle pain is becoming persistent or starting to affect your quality of life, you should consider seeing a podiatrist (foot doctor), as this has various possible causes.
Your podiatrist can perform a thorough evaluation, which includes a physical exam and some diagnostic imaging tests (e.g., X-ray, etc.), to pinpoint the cause. Once your podiatrist confirms a diagnosis, they will develop a treatment plan, which consists of any or a combination of the following conservative treatment approaches:
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medications
- Cortisone shots (steroid injections)
- Supportive devices (e.g., foot brace, splint, or cast)
- Custom orthotics
- Shockwave therapy
- Physical therapy
If the pain persists even after a three-month course of these conservative interventions, your podiatrist will likely assess your eligibility for surgery to completely address your ankle problem.
Exercise your feet regularly.
Research suggests that exercises are effective at alleviating the symptoms of ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, among many other injuries. Aerobic, muscle strengthening, stretching, and flexibility exercises, in particular, have been shown to help with ankle pain.
If you have just recently sustained an ankle injury, do not exercise immediately. Instead, check with your podiatrist as to when it is safe to start exercising again so as to prevent further injuries.
Ankle Pain Treatment in South Texas
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our board-certified podiatrists offer an extensive range of innovative nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, including shockwave therapy and arthroscopy. The treatment methods we use have all been proven to produce exceptional outcomes in people suffering from a wide variety of foot-and-ankle injuries, namely ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.
To schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists, you may call us at (210) 227-8700 or use this secure appointment request form.