If ankle pain has started to get in the way of your day-to-day activities, you want to find out what’s causing it as well as what you can to banish it altogether. Ankle pain that has become persistent or is causing significant quality-of-life issues warrants a visit to a podiatrist—a physician who specializes in the diagnoses and treatment of foot and ankle problems.
Below, you’ll learn about the three potential reasons for your ankle pain along with the treatments your podiatrist may recommend to help you break free from it.
1.) Ankle Arthritis
As one of the major weight-bearing joints of the body, the ankle bears the brunt of your movements. The stress that the ankles endure can lead to the eventual breakdown of the cartilage in them (ankle arthritis), which can cause the joint to get inflamed and become stiff.
Arthritis is not a reversible condition. However, there are steps you can take to not only manage the pain brought on by arthritis, but also delay its progression. These include the following:
- Exercise- Regularly exercising your ankle joint can help improve its strength, flexibility, and mobility.
- Using assistive device – This can be beneficial for reducing the strain on your ankle.
- Anti-inflammatories– Your podiatrist will prescribe anti-inflammatories to help manage your pain.
- Losing weight– This is one of the best self-care measures you can take to help ease your symptoms.
2.) Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the band of soft tissue that stretches from your heel bone to your calf muscles (Achilles tendon).
Although Achilles tendinitis does not directly affect the ankle, its symptoms, which include sharp pain, swelling, and stiffness, can be felt around the ankle or heel. For this reason, it is often mistaken for an ankle sprain.
Mild to moderate cases of Achilles tendinitis respond well to rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) therapy; medications; and physical therapy. Your podiatrist may recommend surgery (Achilles tendon repair) if your Achilles tendon has ruptured, or if a lengthy course of conservative treatments has failed to address your symptoms.
3.) Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are among the most common causes of ankle pain, especially among athletes. An ankle sprain occurs when you twist, turn, or roll your ankle at an awkward angle, causing the tough bands of tissue that hold the bones in it together (ligaments) to stretch beyond their limits and get torn.
Severe ankle pain accompanied by bruising, swelling, limited range of motion, popping sensation (crepitus), and tenderness are some of the common symptoms of ankle sprain.
Minor ankle sprains (grade I) respond well to self-care measures (R.I.C.E. therapy) and pain medications. Moderate ones (grade 2) often need physical therapy and the use of assistive device (e.g., brace, cast, or boot). Severe ones (grade 3) could also benefit from PT and proper immobilization. However, if your ankle remains unstable despite an extensive period of rehabilitation, your podiatrist will likely recommend surgery to repair the ligament.
Trusted Podiatrists in South Texas
Don’t let ankle pain stop you dead in your tracks. If you live in or around San Antonio, Hondo, Boerne, Floresville, Uvalde, Live Oak, or Kenedy in Texas, visit us here at the Podiatry Group of South Texas for a comprehensive evaluation with one of our board-certified podiatrists.
Our team has earned an excellent reputation for the unmatched patient outcomes we provide for the entire range of foot and ankle problems. You can count on us to help you successfully get back on your feet!