Ankle pain, while initially thought of as an issue for athletes, can affect anyone at any time. Simple, everyday activities, such as walking or running on an uneven surface, have the possibility of causing serious harm to one’s ankle. That is, however, not to discount athletic injuries; in fact, half of all ankle sprains are inflicted during an athletic activity. The most common causes of ankle injuries include tripping or falling, landing awkwardly after jumping, a sudden impact such as a car crash, or twisting, rolling, and rotating of the ankle.
Some signs that point to the potential of an ankle injury include pain towards the affected area, swelling, bruising, or an inability to walk or bear weight on the affected area. You may also notice an increase in the height of the arch of the inflicted foot. In order to understand why the injury occurred, a podiatrist will often question the patient about the events leading up to their ankle discomfort. An x-ray of the leg or foot may also be performed to discover what’s harming the ankle.
Depending on the condition behind your ankle pain, different treatments may be prescribed by your podiatrist. For ankle sprains, the first step in treatment involves rest, ice, elevation, and compression. Be sure to avoid placing pressure on the ankle, use an ice pack several times a day, and use a compression bandage and elevation to reduce swelling. Other more serious conditions may require the assistance of certain drugs and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, or even cortisone injections. In certain cases, surgical intervention may even be necessary.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain or discomfort in the ankle region, seek out the help of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.