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Ankle Pain Relief from Causes to Treatment

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ankle pain relief

Intricacies of Our Ankles – Ankle Bone Connected to The…

The ankle joint is made up of two parts. The first is the main ankle joint, and the second is the subtalar joint. The top part of the ankle fits a socket located at the bottom end of our lower leg bone, while the bottom part of the ankle rests on the heelbone. A quarter inch of articular cartilage cushions the joint, acting as a very powerful shock absorber that lets the joint sustain that much weight. Tendons and ligament complexes help the connected muscles facilitate movement, and as a whole there is a wide range of motion – and weight-supporting, let’s not forget – that the ankle can do. With all of the mechanics it is no surprise that you may seek ankle pain relief.

We don’t give it a lot of thought, do we – until the time comes when the ankle is exhibiting some rather painful symptoms, which of course is when we find it necessary to find out what part is at fault. What are some causes of ankle pain?

Some Causes of Ankle Pain

  • Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury that tends to be common in runners and athletes, as well as non-runners and non-athletes whose jobs or lifestyles require a lot of walking or stair climbing. As with other overuse injuries, the main problem is typically small tears in the affected tendon that can turn into inflammation and pain.
  • Bone spurs or osteophytes form along the edge of bones, and since there are a lot of bones in the ankle and foot area this can be a real problem. While this mainly tends to be a factor later in life, bone spurs may result from the bone damage brought on by osteoarthritis.
  • Gout is a complex form of arthritis that manifests as sharp flashes of pain accompanied by tenderness and reddening in the ankle joint.
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease or CPPD is, as its name suggests, a malady that sees the eponymous crystals forming deposits in the joint. This is what leads to the pain in the joint, an experience similar to gout (hence the nickname pseudogout).
  • Bursitis is a condition where the bursar sacs around joints become inflamed. This can happen to the bursar sacs around our ankle joints, and the inflammation is certain to be accompanied by pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation in the joint. Symptoms may “flare” for days or even weeks.

Ankle Pain Relief – Possible Treatments

There are many possible treatments to foster ankle pain relief, and some may be specialized depending on the discovered cause of the ankle pain.

  • The standard treatment typically involves rest. This is true for most joint injuries, as the tendons and other parts involved tend to be acting up because of heavy use or wear. Giving them time to recover is only wise, and an essential part of any recovery process. For some people this is only really doable at the end of the day, but reducing one’s movement is a necessary sacrifice that will go a long way toward eventually allowing the ankle to fully knit itself back together.
  • Icing the affected ankle is usually also recommended. The cold will help bring the inflammation down, and will also numb the joint to a degree so that pain will be less pronounced. This can be done for a certain amount of time each day, but not continuously – take breaks.
  • Compression and elevation are also part of a good recovery process and may help speed it along ankle pain relief. Keeping the affected ankle tightly bound – not tight enough to cause pain, though – will help reduce swelling as well, and keeping it elevated will slow the blood flow to the ankle, also having a reductive effect on the inflammation.
  • Medication could be necessary in some cases, but must always be cleared with your doctor. While there are many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can be very helpful, some can have harmful side effects if they don’t agree with your body chemistry.
  • There are some home remedies that can be done with some spices or other herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger and turmeric are among the more popular choices for their anti-inflammatory nature; these can be ground up and prepared as a tea-style drink, or in the case of turmeric can be mashed into a paste that can then be massaged into the affected ankle.
  • Acupressure or shiatsu is another option, although the scientific support behind it is somewhat iffy in comparison to the other remedies. Like acupuncture, acupressure operates on the belief in energy that flows through the human body in channels that can be tapped into and thus manipulated. Unlike the piercing nature of acupuncture, acupressure focuses on accessing these channels via stretching and massage with a focus on acupressure points.

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