There are a few things that can be done to help relieve ankle pain. For starters, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Another option is to wrap the ankle with an elastic bandage or compression stocking to help reduce swelling. Finally, elevating the ankle above the level of the heart can also help improve blood flow and reduce swelling.
These are basic suggestions, but ankle pain relief can be achieved in many ways. It also depends on your condition and the sources of your pain.
At Premier Pain Doctors, we make sure our patients experience the best treatment possible. Pain is an ugly side effect of some medical conditions, but the good news is that it is treatable or manageable.
Schedule an appointment with one of our experts to find out the best treatment for you and relieve the pain in your body.
If the pain comes from your ankle, there are a few reasons why it might be occurring. Let’s go into them to learn some treatments your doctor would recommend.
You can even do some of these things at home.
Why Does my Ankle Hurt?
There are many reasons why your ankle might hurt. One possibility is that you sprained your ankle. This can happen when the ankle is twisted beyond its normal range of motion. Another possibility is that the person has a fracture. These are two “levels of injuries” which have their own levels of pain.
A sprain can happen up to a certain point in your ankle, and the pain you’d feel depends on it. This can happen when there is a break in one or more of the bones in the ankle. Other causes of ankle pain can include arthritis, tendonitis, and gout.
Physical Therapy as a Way To Relieve Ankle Pain
Exercising may be important for ankle pain because it can help to improve range of motion, strength, and balance. We say “may” because it depends on your medical condition. Sometimes, if your ankle is hurt in certain ways, it’s wiser not to exercise.
However, you could try stretching, heat and cold treatment, or lifting the leg of the affected ankle.
Physical therapy also helps to reduce inflammation, and it helps your blood flow to increase. We’ve learned that blood transports key nutrients that work as helpers against pain.
Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself, and your blood circulation allows ingredients to get to the areas where you feel the pain.
The tissues, bones, ligaments, and tendons that might be damaged start repairing. Exercising is important because it allows your blood to flow better.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ankle pain, so your physical therapist will tailor a treatment plan specifically for you. Treatment may include:
Your physical therapist will gently move your ankle and surrounding tissues to help loosen them up and improve movement. A specialist must perform these procedures on your ankle, as they are instructed to use their movements.
You might feel certain discomfort during some phases of manual therapy, but overall, it’s an enjoyable experience. You will probably feel a lot better after each session.
Some of the techniques your therapist may use include:
- Manual procedures: Massages, mobilization, and manipulation. Your therapist will use their hands to move your ankle and surrounding tissues. This helps to loosen them up and improve movement.
- Electrotherapy: This treatment consists in using an electrical current to stimulate the tissues around your ankle. This can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves stimulate the tissues around your ankle. This can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Classic workout modality
You will likely be prescribed a series of exercises to improve your range of motion and strength.
If you are experiencing ankle pain, it is best to perform a routine that will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Some exercises that you may want to try include:
- Calf raises: Standing with your weight on your feet, raise your heels as high as possible. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower your heels back to the ground. Repeat 10 to 15 times at first, then, you can do 30, 50, or 100 reps.
This exercise strengthens all the muscles that are around your ankles. It is great to rehabilitate them and prevent further injuries.
- Ankle circles: Sitting or standing, slowly rotating your ankle in circles in one direction. Then rotate your ankle in the other direction. Do 10 to 15 circles in each direction.
- Stretching: Place your ankle on a pillow and gently pull your toes towards your shin. Hold for 30 seconds, and then release. Repeat 3 times.
You could do this exercise once or twice a day, and you’ll start feeling the results almost immediately. First, your mobility will improve, then, your strength will return. All this happens at the same time the pain diminishes.
You should also stretch your ankles after exercising or walking long distances, even if your ankles are not injured.
- Jogging or walking: Depending on your specific condition, walking or running can be a great idea. Moving and stretching your legs around, get them used to movement and function without pain.
The amount of time and distance that you must walk or run depends on your sensations of pain. Your body always has an insight for you, so listen to it and follow your rhythm.
Treat your ankles with care while you recover as you want to prevent injuries, not aggravate them.
If you’re suffering from a recent ankle injury and add walking to your routine, your body will “learn again” how to walk. So, by doing it, you’re getting used to being healthy.
Another positive side effect of running or walking is that your mind slowly starts to recover certain trust when it comes to moving. When you’re hurt, your instinct is to go slow, protect your affected area, or think twice before taking a step.
Walking gives confidence to your body, and you’ll progressively move faster. Your blood will also flow better, so the healing will accelerate. Ankle pain relief is also achieved with movement.
Remember to always consult with your doctor to learn what are the correct treatments for your specific type of pain. Our specialists are there to help you.
Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and therefore pain. Ice and pain relievers are the two most common treatments for muscle pain. Remember that are muscles that surround your ankles, so it’s key to keep them fresh.
The colder you apply, the more numb feeling you get. This also relieves pain because the coldness doesn’t let you feel anything. That feeling is kind of therapeutic, and we recommend trying with ice if you are an ankle pain patient.
Compression is Always a Good Help
Wearing compression socks or wraps can help support your ankle and reduce swelling. Compression socks are good for people who spend a lot of time on their feet, so they use them daily.
These allow blood to circulate better around your body. Not only helps with your healing, but it also prevents further injuries. This is why sportsmen and sportswomen use compression stockings.
Elevate Your Ankle
Elevating your ankle above heart level can also help reduce swelling. This helps because of simple physics: the gravitational pull will help drain excess fluid from the ankle and foot.
You must raise the foot and let it in that position for a few minutes. You can try to elevate your foot with the aid of chairs, beds, or pillows. You can even mix the elevation with ice therapy.
Raising the ankle also helps to decrease the pressure in the veins and prevent blood from pooling in the lower leg and foot.
FAQ about ankle pain
When do I have to do physical therapy for ankle pain?
If you’re a patient with an ankle injury, physical therapy comes almost as mandatory. This is because it’s allows healing and function to improve faster. There are certain exercises that you shouldn't be doing if you have certain conditions, but overall, physical therapy is great for your ankles.
Does ice help with ankle pain?
Yes, ice is a very powerful pain reliever. It’ll numb the affected area after a few minutes of applying it. This reduces swelling and inflammation and provides a restoring sensation that suppresses the pain.
How to treat the pain if it’s too intense?
Ankle pain can be very uncomfortable. If you feel that you’re not able to control the pain, don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor and find the best treatment.
At home, you can lift the affected leg, try stretching, and do not stay too many days without walking or at least placing your affected foot on the ground.
My ankles keep spraining. How can I stop this?
There is no magical key, but staying fit is almost it. When you work out, your ankles experience stimuli that make them stronger and more able to resist pressure in different environments. Also, being overweight increases the possibility of ankle injuries, as this study shows.