What is ankle pain? Why does it happen? Is it a serious situation? Do you need to see a doctor? How does it go? What is good for ankle pain? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What is ankle pain?

Ankle pain is pain felt in any part of the ankles. The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprained ankle. A sprain occurs when the tissues connecting the bones are torn or overstretched. Most ankle sprains occur on the side and cause your outer ankle to bend toward the floor. This damage stretches the ligaments or causes them to tear. A sprained ankle usually swells and pain occurs for about 7-14 days . However, it can take several months for a serious injury to fully heal.

Severe ankle pain: serious and non-serious conditions

If ankle pain, defined as severe, persists and does not go away, it is likely to be a serious condition.

  • Not serious: Pain subsides rapidly after injury, and any swelling responds to rest, ice, and over-the-counter medications.
  • Moderately severe: Pain persists for several days even if there are no signs of fracture or infection.
  • Serious: If there is significant injury or deformity accompanied by pain and/or ankle redness and swelling, it is a medical emergency.

Ankle pain: Possible causes

As we said above, sprains are the most common cause of ankle pain . Sprains usually occur when the ankle is rolled or twisted involuntarily, and can sometimes cause heel pain . Thus, the outside of the ankle moves towards the ground and tears the ligaments that hold the bones of the ankle together. Rolling the ankle can also damage the cartilage or tendons of the ankle, which can sometimes cause underfoot pain .

Also “ What causes ankle pain? The answer can be one of the following:

Asylum tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is the name given to any inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. It is important to treat Achilles tendonitis. Otherwise, it can become a long-term, chronic problem that makes walking difficult.

Achilles tendon rupture

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles at the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture). An Achilles tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg.

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Avulsion fracture

An avulsion fracture occurs when a small piece of bone attached to a tendon or ligament pulls away from the main part of the bone. The hip, elbow, and ankle are the most common sites of avulsion fractures in young athletes.

broken foot

A foot fracture is an acute injury to the foot bone. You could break your foot in a car accident or a simple misstep or fall. The severity of a broken foot varies according to the current situation. Sometimes the fractures are as simple as small cracks, while sometimes they can be serious, up to fractures that pierce your skin.

joint inflammation

Joint inflammation occurs when the immune system or damaged tissue releases chemicals in the joint that cause swelling and other symptoms. It can affect only one joint, such as when a person is injured. However, some medical conditions can lead to more than one instance of joint inflammation in the body.


Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful. It usually affects one joint at a time (usually the big toe joint). There are times when symptoms worsen, known as a flare-up, and there are times when symptoms are absent, known as remissions.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Some experts call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It is most common in the hands, hips, and knees. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis. It typically causes the affected joints to swell, become stiff and painful. Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse.

reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis, in various joints in the body; It is a condition that causes redness and swelling (inflammation), especially in the knees, feet, toes, hips and ankles. It often develops after suffering an infection, especially a sexually transmitted infection or food poisoning.

rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and deformity. As the tissue that covers your joints (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and thickens, fluid builds up and the joints wear and deteriorate. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect more than just your joints.

Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is an infection of the joint (synovial) fluid and joint tissues. It is more common in children than adults. The infection usually reaches the joints through the bloodstream. In some cases, joints can become infected due to surgery or injury.

tarsal tunnel syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by repetitive pressure that causes damage to the posterior tibial nerve. Your tibial nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve and is located near your ankle. It is quite common for tarsal tunnel syndrome to cause ankle pain because of this.

Ankle pain: Diagnosis

If ankle pain is severe, your doctor will start by asking you about the onset of the pain and what you did when the pain started. Were you walking, playing sports, or something like that? The doctor will then look at your wrist and perform a physical examination. Your doctor may also order an X-ray to see if a sprain or fracture is the cause of the pain . In some cases, removing fluid from the ankle joint may be necessary to control infection or other underlying conditions.

Ankle pain: Treatment

How is ankle pain treated?

If you can’t relieve the pain on your own, or if over-the-counter pain relievers are n’t relieving the pain , it’s time to look at other options.

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An orthopedic insole , foot or ankle brace is a great way to help realign your joints and keep pain and discomfort at bay. The soles, available in different sizes and degrees of stiffness, support different parts of the foot and redistribute body weight, thus providing a pain-relieving effect.

An ankle brace works just as well. These braces are available in different sizes and support levels. Some can be worn with regular shoes, while others are a bit more inclusive, similar to a cast that covers both the ankle and foot. While several varieties are available in pharmacies and some health stores, it is best to consult a doctor for proper fitting.

Steroid injections can be used to reduce pain and inflammation . Injections contain a medicine called corticosteroid that reduces swelling, stiffness, and pain in the affected area. While most injections take only a few minutes and provide relief within a few hours, the effects are said to last for 3 to 6 months. The best part is, this is a non-surgical procedure that allows you to rest at home the same day.

In some severe cases, surgery (surgery) may also be required.

Remember, your doctor will decide which drug and how to take the treatment.

What is good for ankle pain?

Things that are good for ankle pain include:

  • Rest: Avoid putting weight on your ankle. Try to move as little as possible for the first few days. If you need to walk or move, use crutches or a cane.
  • Applying ice: Begin by placing a bag of ice on your ankle for at least 20 minutes at a time, 90 minutes between icing sessions. Do this three to five times a day for 3 days after the injury. This helps reduce swelling and numbness.
  • Compressing with a bandage: Wrap your injured wrist with an elastic bandage. Do not wrap too tightly to avoid numbness in your ankles or blocking blood flow to your feet.
  • Putting high: Whenever possible, keep your ankle above heart level on a pile of pillows or other support structure.

Ankle pain: Doctor Check

While most ankle pain improves with home care, it is important whether the injury is serious and how long the pain persists. It is best to see a doctor if they can feel pain in the area without relieving significant pain, as well as those who experience excessive swelling or bruising .

To summarize briefly, if there is no improvement during the first few days, you should definitely see a doctor.

Ankle pain: Prevention

Warming up before exercising, wearing shoes that fit your sport or whatever, and avoiding high heels can also help prevent ankle pain and injuries. If you have an ankle injury, rest and following your doctor’s instructions will help you recover as soon as possible.

As a result

Ankle pain often occurs as a result of common injuries such as a sprain or medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, or nerve damage. The discomfort usually comes in the form of swelling and bruising for 1-2 weeks.

During this time, try to rest, keep your feet elevated, and ice your ankle three to five times a day for the first few days. Over-the-counter pain medications can also provide some relief.

But if the pain still persists after that, you should go to the doctor to review all your options, from special ankle tools and shoes to surgery.

Frequently asked Questions

Can big toe protrusion cause ankle pain?

This condition, also known as a bunion , does not usually cause ankle pain. A bunion is a deformity in which the big toe deforms outward and the joint protrudes inward. Studies have been conducted on whether bunions are associated with any particular injury to the foot. Although some researchers draw these conclusions, they have not been conclusively proven. However, it is possible for bunions to affect the balance, leading to falls in the elderly.

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What causes ankle pain without swelling?

Ankle pain can be caused by a stress fracture of the ankle bone or a partial ligament tear that causes ankle instability. Swelling is caused by traumatic damage to tissue cells in the body. As the contents of the cells are shed, they can cause the body to send immune cells to clean and repair the wound. This requires swelling to “make room” for immune cells.

Why does a person experience ankle pain while walking?

Ankle pain when walking can be caused by an increase in swelling and inflammation following a minor injury to the ankle ligaments, joints, or bones. The most common of these conditions are ankle sprains (partial tear of a ligament), arthritis or tendonitis (tendinitis).

Do insoles help relieve ankle pain?

This depends on the cause of the ankle pain. If ankle pain is caused by excessive movement of the foot (inversion, eversion, pronation, or supination), then an insole can take the stress off the foot and reduce repetitive stress injury.

Can ankle pain be related to back pain?

Yes, ankle, knee and hip pain can all be independently associated with back pain . Each of the joints is designed to direct the force of gravity to another point on the next joint designed to carry the pressure. If one of the joints is out of alignment, the entire bone and cartilage structure can be subject to increased wear and tear that causes pain in the hip or back.

Why would I have severe ankle pain without injury?

Ankle joints are vulnerable to both disease and injury. Arthritis, the destruction of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones, can be very damaging and can cause mild to severe pain very quickly as wear progresses. Gout, the deposition of mineral crystals in the joints, also causes intense pain.

Does an ankle fracture cause permanent damage?

This depends on how many of the bones in the ankle are involved, as well as how many ligaments have been sprained or torn. In some cases, surgery may be required for this. With good care, most people recover satisfactorily.

Can a lower leg injury cause severe ankle pain?

Yeah. If the fibula, which is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg, is fractured downwards, the pain is mostly felt in the ankle. If the Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone or calcaneus and is torn, it means it has been severed from the heel bone, the pain will be intense up to the ankle.

Does a torn Achilles tendon always require surgery?

Not always. While surgery is usually done for severe tears in younger and very athletic people, others can usually be treated non-surgically with rest, medications for pain, a walking cast for support, and rehabilitation therapy. Recovery without surgery may take longer, but it is still highly effective.

Can ankle pain be genetic?

It is not the pain itself, but the conditions that create it, which may be genetic. These are conditions that predispose a person to arthritis, such as small malformations at the ends of the bones, oddly sized feet, or one leg being longer than the other. Inherited defects in the immune system can lead to autoimmune diseases that cause arthritis and joint pain .

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