Education

Understanding the Causes of Ankle Pain

January 16, 2023
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Ankle pain is an unfortunate problem that many people face. Persistent pain can disrupt daily life and make it hard to enjoy the things you love, especially for athletes who love to play sports. However, there are many preventative measures and treatments you can use. Here are some of the most common causes of ankle pain and how you can fix and prevent them.

ANKLE SPRAINS

What is it?

An ankle becomes sprained when the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together become stretched or torn. A sprained ankle has a limited range of motion, starts swelling, and feels painful.

What are the causes?

An ankle sprain is caused by the ankle moving in an uncomfortable/unnatural way with enough force to stretch or tear the ligaments. Most commonly, ankle sprains are caused by rolling or twisting motions.

How to treat it?

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can treat most ankle sprains. However, your ankles will likely be unstable during recovery, increasing your risk of re-injury during activities. Therefore, we recommend a dynamic ankle stabilizer like the IFAST or XFAST to ensure you stay protected.

EDEMA

What is it?

Edema is the build-up of fluids in your tissues, causing body parts to become swollen and painful. Edema most commonly occurs in the foot, ankle, or leg, but it can also appear in other areas of the body.

What are the causes?

The fluid that builds up in your tissues comes from tiny blood vessels (known as capillaries) leaking fluid. Most commonly, this leakage is caused by sitting in the same position for too long, too much sodium, pregnancy, a side effect of some medications, or an underlying condition.

How to treat it?

If you have mild edema, you can reduce excess fluid by lowering your sodium intake, using diuretic medication, or using compression sleeves like the HYPERKNIT ANKLE. However, if you suspect you have edema, you should still schedule an appointment with your doctor to ensure it is not the result of an underlying condition.

OSTEOARTHRITIS

What is it?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, a condition where bones rub together, causing pain and deterioration. While it most commonly affects the joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine, it can damage any joint in the body and is one of the most common causes of ankle pain.

What are the causes?

The deterioration of cartilage causes osteoarthritis. Cartilage is the tissue that functions as a cushion between bones to prevent them from rubbing together and enables joints to move with minimal friction.

How to treat it?

The standard methods to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis are medications, weight loss, hot and cold packs, and supportive devices. For ankle pain caused by osteoarthritis, we recommend the RFAST as a supporting device.

EFFUSION OF JOINTS

What is it?

Effusion of joints is the term used to describe the buildup of fluid, specifically in the joints of your body, causing swelling and pain. It can affect large and small joints, such as the ankle or toe.

What are the causes?

The buildup of joint fluid can be caused by an injury, infection, overuse, or inflammation caused by gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.

How to treat it?

Effusion of joints can be treated by medication (antibiotics if an infection caused it), heat, ice, rest, and compression gear. We recommend compression gear like the HYPERKNIT+ ANKLE to reduce swelling and ankle pain effectively.