People experience ankle pain for a variety of reasons. Any type of discomfort or pain in your ankles, like that caused by an injury such as a sprain, or as a result of a medical condition like arthritis, is referred to as ankle pain. Many times, ankle pain clears ups on its own, if it is the result of a simple twist or minor injury. In other cases, like when arthritis of the ankle is present or a sprain is severe, a consultation with a professional may be beneficial. Often, therapies and other treatments like the ones available through Advance Health and Wellness can provide relief and healing.
One of the most common causes of ankle pain is a sprained ankle, accounting for the vast majority of ankle injuries. Sprains occur when ligaments, or connective tissues in the ankle, become overstretched or even tear. Lateral sprains, the type that occur when your ankle joint and foot roll and the outside ankle twists down towards the ground, are the most common. The ankle rolling outward as the foot rolls inward causes this strain to your ligaments. Sprained ankles can swell, bruise, and become difficult to walk on for one or two weeks typically. However, it can take months for a more severe injury to fully heal.
Even when the sprained ankle has healed, it is sometimes more weak or less stable than it was before permanently. For this reason, those who have previously injured their ankle are at greatest risk for ankle sprain in the future. Anyone who plays sports involving quick changes of direction, like football or soccer, or those who wear high heels or otherwise ill-fitting shoes with little support, are also at risk for this type of injury.
While sprains are a commonly reported cause of ankle pain, pain in the ankle joint can also be a result of: arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, gout, nerve damage or injury, like a case of sciatica, infection in the joint, or blockages of the blood vessels.
Gout is the buildup of uric acid. Uric acid, which is a naturally occurring by-product of old cells being broken down, becomes too concentrated, and can cause needle-like crystals in the joints. This causes sharp pain. Pseudo gout is very similar, and is when calcium deposits, instead of uric acid, build up inside the joints. Symptoms of both conditions in the ankle are pain, redness, and swelling of the joint.
Arthritis in the ankle can also occur and cause pain. Arthritis is defined as the inflammation of joints. While many types of arthritis can result in pain in the ankles, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent cause. Osteoarthritis is generally caused by repeated wear occurring over time to the cartilage in the joints. This type of ankle pain, like other forms of arthritis, is usually seen in older individuals, though not always. Another type of arthritis, septic arthritis, is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection in the joint.
If you are experiencing ankle pain, whether or not you know the precise cause, it may be best to consult with a professional instead of attempting home treatment like taking medication or applying temperature therapy. Because ankle injuries or conditions like arthritis can lead to further damage, it is best not to ignore the situation.