Ankle pain is caused by injuries, infections, arthritis, or degenerative conditions. It can be mild or severe depending on the severity of the injury. The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprain, which happens when ligaments in the ankle become stretched or torn. Other causes include arthritis, fractures and stress fractures, tarsal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment, or simply, poor biomechanics such as having your foot turned out too much.

Common symptoms

  • Swelling of the area around the ankles
  • Tenderness and increased warmth
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Pain that worsens with weight bearing on that leg
  • It becomes painful to stand on feet.

Common treatment methods

  • Home care: Mild ankle pain can be treated with icing and ibuprofen for reducing inflammation or swelling.
  • Rest and recuperation: Ankle pain can be treated with rest and using crutches to help with weight-bearing on the affected area.
  • Physical therapy: It helps strengthen muscles so that they can support the ankle joint and reduce pain from a sprain or strain.
  • Surgery: Severe cases and untreated ankle pain may require one or more surgeries.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to recover from a normal ankle sprain?

Depending on severed ligaments, muscle tears, or tendon damage, ankle sprains can take up to three months to heal.

What can I do to speed up the process of healing my ankle?

Ice, rest, compression, elevation, and cross-friction massage can help speed up healing. Also avoid short-term activities that may aggravate your injury.

How long should I wait before I see a doctor for my ankle pain?

It depends on how long ago you were injured. Before going to the doctor, try ice, heat, and ibuprofen on a sprained ankle for two or three days. If you’ve had ankle pain for two weeks, see a doctor because it could be a fracture or other serious injury.

How do I know if it’s just an ankle sprain or a torn ligament?

If you notice that your ankle is swollen, along with a blue or red bruising, you might be experiencing a torn ligament. Sprains very rarely have visible bruising, and the pain is less intense.

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