Ankle pain involves pain or discomfort felt in or around in one or both of the ankle joints. The ankle joint allows the foot to move up and down.Pain in the ankle is usually caused by inflammation or injury to any of the structures in the area. These include the bones, joint space, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendons. These structures are very strong as they can carry the body’s weight, however, they are susceptible to injury and pain.
The ankle is not actually a bone on its own but a joint that has a slightly complicated structure. The ankle joint consists three bones that articulate together (1) tibia (larger, anterior bone of the lower leg), (2) fibula (smaller, posterior bone of the lower leg), and (3) calcaneus (forms the heel of the foot). Mild ankle pain can often be treated and managed with home treatment. For severe cases of ankle pain,
What Causes Ankle Pain?
The most common cause of ankle pain is ankle sprain, wherein there is damage to the ligaments connecting the bones together.The other possible causes of ankle pain include:
- Fractured ankle or foot
- Achilles tendonitis
- Joint or cartilage swelling or damage
- Ankle joint infection
- Osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis
- Gout and pseudogout
- Hell pain injuries
- Blood vessel blockage in the leg
- Nerve injuries or damages, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome
When Should Medical Attention be sought in Cases of Ankle Pain?
If one is unsure whether to seek medical care regarding ankle pains, the following symptoms may help determine if it is the proper time. Moreover, if the cause or appropriate treatment is unknown, medical care should be sought.
- Evident ankle joint deformity
- Inability to walk comfortably on the affected leg
- Inability to bend the ankle
- Ankle pain that lasts for several days
- Ankle pain that occurs while resting or at night
- Signs of infection – fever, warmth and redness
What First Aid Treatment and Management can be done for Ankle Pain?
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. But for the first few
days or while none of the symptoms mentioned above do not show, the following can serve as first aid for ankle pain.
- Rest the ankle from any activity.
- Heat or ice may be applied to the affected area. It is suggested to initially ice the affected. Do not apply ice directly to skin and instead wrap it in a washcloth or towel. After icing the area for the first 48-72 hours, apply heat using hot compresses, heating pad or hot showers. It is important to not fall asleep with the hot compresses or ice pack. Ice is usually used for acute injuries whereas heat is applied for chronic injuries.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications to relieve of pain.
Disclaimer: The article should not serve as medical advice. Its mere purpose is for information. To learn how to treat ankle pain and other bodily pains, enrol in First Aid Courses.