Ankle pain and discomfort experienced near can result in swelling, redness, and stiffness in the joint. The primary causes of ankle pain include foot/ankle injury, daily wear and tear, or medical conditions such as arthritis.
Anatomy of the Ankle
The ankle joint serves as the connection point for the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the foot bone (talus). An intricate network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues brings these bones together and support the foot and ankle movements.
Despite its small size, the ankle bears your body weight and ensures that you can maintain your balance when you stand or walk. It also enables you to point, rotate, and flex your feet at various angles. Excessive wear and tear of this joint, traumatic injury or an associated medical condition can result in mild to severe ankle pain.
Most of the time, the ankle pain may subside after home-based therapy and rest. Yet, you must seek treatment if the ankle pain arises after an injury or does not decrease over time.
Common symptoms of ankle pain include:
- Soreness and burning pain
- Swollen and tender ankles
- Redness and bruising
- Stiffness and rigidity
- Imbalanced gait
- Difficulty in walking, running, and climbing stairs
- Inability to stand straight
The risk factors include:
- Old age (mostly occurring in individuals over 65)
- Excessive weight
- Sports and recreational activities that require you to jump, change directions quickly, or move side-to-side (while placing your weight on the ankles)
- Fall injuries
- Fractured bones
- A flat foot
- Bone injuries
- Ankle sprains/strain
We also associate ankle pain as a symptom of different medical conditions.
Possible causes include:
- A broken foot/ankle bone
- Bursitis (Joint Inflammation)
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- All types of arthritis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
The overlap in symptoms and causes of ankle pain makes early diagnosis crucial for effective treatment. Otherwise, the problem might worsen with time.
Before treating ankle pain, we prefer to conduct a detailed physical evaluation. It includes reviewing your medical history, medical reports related to previous injuries, and lifestyle habits. We also observe how the condition affects your activity levels, gait, balance, and movements.
If required, our physical therapist might consult your primary healthcare provider.
After the initial assessment, we identify the root cause of your ankle pain. We use this information to develop a customized physical therapy treatment plan.
Physical therapy treatments for ankle pain focus on alleviating the soreness and preventing further inflammation of the affected site. We also aim to improve the full range of motion in the ankle joint to facilitate your movements. Strengthening exercises and pain management techniques support joint flexibility and coordination.
Modifying your diet, recommending orthopedic footwear, and teaching ergonomic techniques are another aspect of our personalized treatment programs. Addressing these variables ensures that your lifestyle habits facilitate the healing process.
As a result, you can resume routine activities and do not have to struggle with basic movements (i.e. walking or climbing stairs).
We also create extensive home exercise physical therapy programs for athletes. That is because they might experience ankle pain due to a sports-related injury. In these cases, we develop workout routines to increase endurance levels, improve agility, and teach them how to protect the ankle during landing (when you jump or perform specific sports maneuvers). That way, you can mitigate the risk of future ankle injuries.
Our main goal is to ensure that you get back on your feet within a few weeks.
If you are experiencing severe ankle pain due to a recent injury or overexertion, consider consulting us for an initial evaluation. Early intervention can be the difference between full recovery and medical complications.
If you would like to learn more about the proper exercises and treatment for ankle pain, give us a call @ 201-773-8851 or book an initial consultation session with us today.