Ankle Pain

The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world!

ankle pain during exercising

Ankle Pain

What is ankle pain?

Ankle pain usually develops following injury to the ankle bones, cartilage, ligaments or surrounding tendons. So, you can imagine it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from your podiatrist. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Stiffness

  • Instability

  • Weakness

What causes ankle pain?

Ankle pain is often caused by ankle sprain  — so poetic but very debilitating! It may also be caused by wear and tear, which usually results from one or a combination of:

  • A previous injury that hasn’t been rehabilitated properly

  • Inappropriate training load (e.g. overtraining)

  • Wearing inappropriate footwear

  • Inefficient foot function

  • Muscle imbalance (e.g. tight or weak calf muscles)

  • Poor lumbo-pelvic (core) stability

  • Inefficient walking or running technique

Common injuries that cause ankle pain are:

  • Ankle sprain

  • Fracture

  • Tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction (aka adult acquired flatfoot deformity)

  • Tendinopathy (previously called tendonitis)

  • Bony (e.g. due to a spur or accessory bone) or soft tissue impingement

  • Os trigonum (accessory bone at the back of the ankle)

  • Nerve pressure (e.g. tarsal tunnel syndrome on the inside of the ankle)

Chronic conditions like osteoarthritis and gout can also cause ankle pain.

ankle pain

Treatment for ankle pain

The best treatment for your ankle pain depends largely on your symptoms and the injury that’s causing it, which — as you can see from above — varies widely. So make sure you get a proper diagnosis from your podiatrist. This will ensure your treatment plan is specific to your injury, which will eliminate your pain as quickly as possible and prevent it from returning. In the meantime, take it easy, apply ice for 10 minutes after activity to reduce pain, and take some pain relief medication if needed.