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Most Common Ankle Problems and How to Solve Them

Ankle problems are not fun. When you’re on your feet, your ankles take the brunt of the force when you take a step. Sure, your knees and hips will also take some of the impact, but your heel hits the floor first when you take a step. Especially if you work in a job that causes foot problems. Doctors, nurses, construction workers, and athletes expose themselves to certain risks if their feet are not properly cared for.

Ridding yourself of ankle problems – not suffering from them – is the absolute best option.

We’re going to discuss the most common ankle problems people just like you are suffering from and how to solve them once and for all.

Ankle Sprains


Ankle sprains are very common, and for the most part, you’ll get a sprain due to physical activity. For example, you’ll be walking and misstep, twisting your ankle. You may also fall or be hit in a contact sport, leading to a sprain.

Sprains are damage to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

You may even hear a “popping” sound when walking. The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain on the outside of the ankle
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

Treating the problem depends on the severity of the sprain, and if the symptoms do not subside, you may need to have X-rays done to ensure that there are no broken bones present.

Treatment includes:

  • Applying ice to the area
  • Following the R.I.C.E. protocol
  • Resting until the ankle heals (3 – 7 weeks of light activity)

Arthritis


If your ankle has arthritis, it can be very sore and uncomfortable. There are several forms of arthritis that you may be suffering from, and this includes osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis.

Treatment may be something as simple as using Kompress Kinetic to help stabilize the ankle and relieve some of the swelling you’re experiencing. These socks have adjustable focal straps so you can modify the socks to provide the most comfort on the area(s) that need it the most. Many Kompress Kinetic reviews are from people who suffer from signs of arthritis and are thrilled with their results when using these socks.

Other forms of treatment may include:

  • Medication injected into the joint
  • Foot inserts
  • Pain relievers
  • Custom shoes
  • Pads

If you have arch problems, you may also need arch supports to help with your ankle pain.

Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is a common foot-related problem that is the most common cause of heel pain. If you’ve read our article on what professions cause feet problems, you should know that most professions where standing is common may cause plantar fasciitis.

Now, yes, this is described as heel pain, but it can radiate into the ankle.

Many forms of foot pain can radiate to the ankle, and since everything is connected, it makes perfect sense.

You may have this condition if you suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot
  • Pain when you take your first few steps in the morning
  • Pain that worsens after exercise rather than during it

Treatment for the condition will require proper testing, and may include:

Fractures


Doctors note that there has been an increase in the number of patients over the last 30 years coming into a doctor’s office annually with ankle fractures. A major issue is that the population is getting older, and it’s these older generations that are at higher risk of a fracture.

Ankles actually have two joints:

  • One on top of another

So, you have more bones that can be fractured than in other areas of the body. You also have ligaments and tissues surrounding these bones, so a lot can be occurring in the ankle at one time.

Stress fractures are most common and occur from:

  • Walking exceptionally long distances
  • Running
  • Increasing activity

A doctor will need to perform image tests on the ankle to determine if it has been fractured. The doctor will then discuss the best form of treatment for you. This will often include a brace if the fracture is stable.

In the event that ligaments have been torn, it’s possible that surgery will be needed to correct the issue.

Gout


Gout may be another cause for your ankle pain, and this condition will cause a variety of other joint-related pains, too. This is a complex form of arthritis that can impact anyone and comes in waves of severe attacks.

Gout is very sudden, and it will cause:

  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Pain

A lot of people will have pain in the middle of the night that is best described as a burning feeling in the person’s big toe. The pain is intense, and the discomfort can last for several weeks after the initial pain starts.

  • Several forms of medication may be prescribed
  • Limiting alcoholic beverages has helped some people overcome gout
  • Limiting the intake of certain meats and seafood
  • Losing weight or exercising regularly can help

Gout can be very serious, and it’s important to have it treated to alleviate the pain and swelling that comes with it. A lot of people will have gout flare ups and never know the cause. If your big toe starts burning and the pain wakes you up in the middle of the night, there’s a good chance that it’s gout.

Treating most forms of ankle pain can be done by following these general rules of thumb:

  • Weight. Make sure that you maintain a healthy weight. If you’re too heavy, the stress will be placed on the foot and ankle, causing your pain to worsen.
  • Shoes. Properly cushioned and comfortable shoes are ideal. With the right shoes, you’ll have additional support and will be able to absorb more of the shock when walking. Avoid wearing high heels or sandals that offer little-to-no support.
  • Ice. Applying ice to the ankle will help reduce the pain and inflammation. A proper R.I.C.E. protocol should be followed. As a general rule of thumb, ice the area for 20 – 30 minutes, four or five times per day.
  • Stretch. Stretch out your foot and the area where pain exists. This may mean stretching out your calf muscles, Achilles tendon or the ankle to keep it loose and alleviate some of the stiffening that you may experience.

Now, if your ankle pain persists or the symptoms are getting worse, make sure to visit a doctor and have your condition properly diagnosed and treated. There’s a chance that what you think is a minor injury may actually be a stress fracture, broken bone or ligament issue that needs prompt attention.

November 11, 2019

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