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.