Ankle pain is any discomfort that may includeone or both ankles.
Ankle pain is one of the most common foot problems. The pain experienced may be classified into two, acute pain and chronic pain. It is classified depending on the pain’s duration. Acute pain usually results from direct injury or trauma. The most common for which is an ankle sprain. Strenuous activities such as: running, athletics, or sports are the common cause of ankle sprain. This occurs when an ankle twists causing damage to the surrounding tissues and ligaments in the ankle joint. This is very painful but it usually heals in a short period of time of rest. Chronic pain is a long-term type of foot pain. This usually occurs for months.
Pain may occur in the inside of the ankle which is called medial ankle pain or outside and is called lateral ankle pain. The pain caused by stress on the nerves and tendons around the ankle is medial ankle pain. This happens because of the pressure brought by weight bearing activity as well as activities like sports, running, and walking. The pain may radiate to the arch of the foot. Medial ankle pain may also be caused to excessive pronation or the rolling in of the ankle and exercise. On the other hand, lateral ankle pain is brought about by the compression of the surrounding tissues. An example of which is excessive pronation.
Causes of Ankle Pain
The most common cause of ankle pain is feet injuries and individuals who have an active lifestyle are at high risk. However, different factors may also be the cause of discomfort in the ankle. Ankle pain is not usually very serious but treatment is necessary to avoid it from interfering from day to day activities. Usually, bed rest resolves the problem.
Discomforts occurring in the ankles are usually brought by injuries. Sprain, tendinitis, and strain are type of injuries that cause tearing in the ligaments in the ankle area. This commonly happens when an ankle twist. The pain may last for several weeks, and it is accompanied by difficulty in bearing weight on the joints. Fractures and breaks in the ankle also cause pain in the area. The pain in this type of injury is immediate and intense compared to sprains. The duration for the treatment of fractures also takes long. Bones need a lot of time to heal and are much more complicated. Cartilage and joint damage also cause ankle pain. Repeated injury and aging can lead to the destruction of tendons and cartilages around the joint as well as causing the bones to wear down. Injuries with these structures often cause chronic pain and appear with factors such as: cold weather, strenuous activities, and weather changes.
Arthritis is a common cause of the joint problem. This may affect ankle joints causing pain. There are different types of arthritis that has various causes and symptoms. Nerve conditions that cause nerve injuries may also lead to ankle pain. An example of which is the Tarsal tunnel syndrome causes compression on the nerves, specifically the tibial nerve.
Treatment of Ankle Pain
Treatment of ankle pain comes in different forms. It usually depends on the underlying cause. A simple pain in the ankle area may not involve complex treatment modalities. It may only require simple interventions that can be done at home. However, if the pain is very severe, a doctor must be consulted for proper treatment. It is essential to know some common management for pain in the ankle.
One treatment is the use alternate hot and cold compress. This is commonly used strains and sprains. A sprained ankle can be applied with an ice alternately with heat to reduce pain and swelling. Wrapping the ankle is also essential to immobilize the affected area. This is to prevent further injury and promote healing. A fractured ankle may need to be applied with a cast. This is another way of immobilizing the affected area. Massaging the ankle and compression may as well aid in managing the pain.
Prevention of Ankle Pain
Ankle pain can be prevented in different ways. The first thing to do is to avoid putting a lot of strain in the ankles. This can be done by losing those extra pounds. Warming up before doing exercises may also help. This is to stretch the tendons and muscles of the ankle preparing them for strenuous activities. For women, it is important to avoid high-heeled shoes. This type of shoes causes a lot of strain to the ankles. People who are prone to twist their ankles should also utilize support braces for their ankles. Furthermore, the use of shoes also plays an important part of ankle care. Certain shoes have special soles that can reduce the strain being put on the ankles. Exercises that can enhance balance can also help preventing ankle injuries.
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