Ankle pain is any pain found between your foot and leg. This pain is commonly caused by injury to your leg, or health conditions such as inflammation of your ankle joint. Most times, you can take care of your ankle pain with some home remedies like putting an ice pack on it, raising your leg, and using pain killers. If the pain continues and prevents you from doing your daily activities, you should seek medical care.
Your ankle is important to walk well and maintain your balance. Common causes of ankle pain include:
- Injuries to your ankle. It may be from sports, accidents or falls.
- Broken bones in your ankle. Fractures also cause your ankle to swell.
- Inflammation of your ankle joint.
- Infections such as osteomyelitis.
- Arthritis, which is common in older people.
Visit your healthcare provider if you notice the following:
- The pain stops you from your daily functions.
- If your ankle pain keeps coming back or it gets worse with time.
- Presence of an open wound or swelling around the pain site.
- Loss of sensation in your toes.
- Feeling pain when you put weight on the affected ankle.
- Wear comfortable footwear. Also, make sure that you wear footwear that does not make you trip and fall.
- Keep a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese adds extra weight to your ankles and affects the joint.
- Do not ignore any pain from your ankle. Stop any activity that you feel causes the pain until it has healed.
- Exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong.
When you start feeling ankle pain, you can use the following home remedies to reduce the pain and swelling:
- Put an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel on the ankles for up to 20 minutes. Repeat this every three hours. It should help reduce any swellings.
- Raise the leg by placing it on a pillow or an elevated surface to reduce swelling.
- Rest your ankle well. Avoid carrying heavy objects or playing sports.
- Wear comfortable shoes with low heels.
- Use a bandage to help rest and support the ankle. This should also reduce the movement of your ankle joint.
- Reduce the amount of time spent standing. Try to sit or lie down more often.
- Use pain killers like paracetamol.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe the following treatment if home remedies do not reduce the pain:
- Drugs to treat medical conditions like arthritis, gout, and infections.
- Physiotherapy to help exercise and increase the flexibility of the ankle.
- Ankle braces in your shoes to help support your ankle.
- Surgery to fix broken bones or ligaments.
Ankle pain which is commonly caused by injuries and sprains can be taken care of with the self-care tips mentioned above. Resting and taking over-the-counter painkillers will help relieve the pain. You may also use ice packs or raise your leg to relieve swelling. Ensure that you wear protective gear while playing sports like football and basketball. Ankle pain rarely needs surgery unless it is very severe. If pain persists for long, visit your healthcare provider.