Posts for category: Ankle Pain
Ankle pain can impede your daily function. While young men and athletes suffer this kind of lower extremity discomfort more than any other group, ankle pain can strike many people in varying intensity. At Norridge Foot Clinic, Dr. Laura Pickard takes ankle pain seriously and finds ways to heal and manage it. How are your ankles today?
Causes of ankle pain
Your Norridge podiatrist encounters many cases of ankle pain in her day to day practice. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, the most common cause is the ankle sprain. This overstretching of the ligaments which hold the ankle bones together and give them their range of motion usually results from sudden lateral twisting motion or a blow to the ankle.
An ankle sprain can heal quickly if mild to moderate in severity. The most serious of ankle sprains, however, may lead to chronic ankle instability and immobility. These severe sprains require surgery.
Other reasons for ankle pain include:
- Arthritis, including Lupus, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Achilles tendinitis and Achilles tendon rupture
- Gout (too much uric acid in the joints)
- Flat arches
- Ankle instability due to previous fracture or sprain or because of excess body weight
- Scleroderma, a hardening of the skin and connective tissue
What to do with your ankle pain
Note any incidence of injury and along with what your most difficult symptoms are and what helps or worsens them. After that, arrange a consultation with Dr. Pickard—she will discuss your symptoms with you, examine your feet and ankles, take digital X-rays, and carry out an MRI, all as needed.
Treatments depend on your diagnosis, and your foot doctor will start you on a care plan specific to it and to your lifestyle and overall health.
Common treatments for a wide variety of ankle pain issues include:
- Rest (staying off your feet helps overuse injuries, too)
- Ice (to relieve swelling)
- Compression with an elastic bandage (particularly for ankle sprains)
- Elevation above heart level
- Physical therapy
- Stretching exercises (great for Achilles tendon problems)
- Custom-made shoe orthotics to correct gait problems (such as overpronation) or structural problems (such as flat arches)
- Cortisone injections for arthritis
- Over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- Soft casts
- Crutches as needed
Get moving again!
At Norridge Foot Clinic, Dr. Laura Pickard helps patients of all ages maximize the health and function of their lower extremities. If you have sudden or persistent ankle pain, she'd love to help. Please call the office for an appointment: (773) 625-2211.
Anyone can experience ankle pain, but it’s how you treat it that matters.
No matter how athletic you are, there are times that even the strongest person reaches a limit. When we push our bodies too much, we often experience pain. If you’ve noticed ankle pain during your morning runs in Norridge, it might be time to do something about it.
Do you notice any of these symptoms?
- - Difficulty walking
- - Pain on the outer portion of the ankle
- - Stiffness
- - Inflammation
- - Tenderness
- - Ankle instability
These are the most common problems associated with ankle problems; however other causes of chronic ankle pain include bone fractures, arthritis, joint inflammation, nerve injury, scar tissue or a torn tendon.
Here are some of the ankle pain treatments in Norridge that you can expect when you visit our office:
When it comes to treating a condition, if more conservative options suffice, then we want to exhaust those first. This means using over-the-counter medication, prescription medication, or a combination of both. Anti-inflammatories will help to relieve swelling around the ankle. If the pain is severe, we may also recommend pain relievers or even steroid injections. Steroids can help alleviate inflammation and other symptoms faster and for longer periods of time.
However, it’s important that you talk to us about your medical history and any allergies you have before we put you on any medication.
Stretching and strengthening exercises are some of the most effective ways to increase durability and mobility in muscles and joints. We will show you the different exercises you can utilize to help with ankle pain, including tilt-board exercises. These exercises are particularly beneficial for those with limited mobility, as they don’t put stress on the ankle’s ligaments.
Over time you will notice a reduction in pain and swelling. As this happens we can begin incorporating inverted and everted ankle movements to your exercises.
When performing any stretching exercises be sure to hold them for at least 20 seconds each to give your muscles time to loosen up. Try three sets of each exercise at least twice a day, and build gradually from that.
Orthotics and Support
Rest is an essential part of healing; however when you are mobile, the use of ankle braces and ankle taping can help protect your foot from further injury, support the tendons and ligaments, and avoid putting weight on the painful areas.
If your ankle pain is due to a fracture or sprain, it’s important to stay off your foot. In fact, one study found that immobilization initially offered a faster recovery for ankle sprains. Immobilization may be necessary in the beginning stages of treatment, particularly for more severe conditions; however, we tend to utilize a combination of the above treatments to help get you back on your feet.
If you want to nip ankle pain in the bud, then give our Norridge, IL office a call so we can see you right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your performance will be.
Here are some of the most common culprits of ankle pain in Norridge:
Bursitis: This is a condition that is characterized by inflammation and pain of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the space between the tendon and a bone. With ankle bursitis you may notice a decrease in movement, pain and soreness in the back of the ankle, swelling, and redness. Runners and those who are physically active are more prone to ankle bursitis due to overuse or exerting too much pressure on the area.
Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel and aids in walking and running. While this tendon is durable it is still prone to overexertion. Achilles tendinitis causes inflammation of this large tendon, as well as pain and stiffness, serious pain (often noticed the next day after working out), tendon thickening and swelling. Those who suddenly increase their level of activity are more prone to developing tendinitis.
Sprains: This is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries and, according to American College of Sports Medicine, about 25,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains daily. While sprains are often seen in athletes, even just walking on irregular or uneven ground can cause a sprain. With an ankle sprain you may notice swelling, redness, and pain.
- Fractured ankle: When one or more ankle bones are broken you may find it difficult to walk altogether. Sometimes ligaments can also be damaged along with the bone(s). Fractured ankles can occur when falling, rolling or twisting the ankle, or through a sudden trauma (e.g. car accident). You will notice sudden and intense pain with a fractured ankle. You may also notice swelling, bruising, and tenderness of the ankle, and it may be hard to put weight on the foot.