Ankle pain can and does have an extremely disruptive effect on people’s lives, frequently. With ankle pain, you find that you cannot stand on your feet comfortably and are stopped from doing activities that require you to place any amount of pressure on the ankle joint. The ankle is an extremely delicate joint and includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and tendons that make up the joint and provide stability to the place where the foot and the leg meet. Ankle pain, thus, can be the cause of injury to one or more of these various components, and needs to be treated with caution.
Ankle pain can be of two kinds – chronic ankle pain and acute ankle pain. Acute ankle pain starts suddenly and is mostly brought about by an injury, whereas chronic ankle pain is generally caused by something more serious and usually lasts for a longer period of time, unless treated urgently.
The commonest causes of ankle pain are sprains and stress fractures. Sprains occur when the foot gets twisted for some reason, causing the ankle to roll over and stretching the ligaments way beyond their capacity. Sometimes sprains cause some amount of ligament tears as well. People most susceptible to ankle sprains and the resultant ankle pain are athletes who take part in jerking motions like playing basketball and non-athletes who may lose their balance while wearing high heeled shoes or simply miss their step, especially when walking on an uneven surface.
The other type of common ankle pain is caused by stress fractures. The stress fracture is simply a crack in the ankle joint caused by repeated pressure or stress on the same part of the joint. The stress fracture is not brought about by one sharp injury and is not accompanied by any swelling. Often, jumping on hard surfaces or running in incorrect shoes can cause stress fractures and subsequent ankle pain.
While stress fractures and sprains are the common causes of acute ankle pain, the most common cause of chronic ankle pain are arthritis and gout. Arthritis brings about ankle pain, though accompanied by stiffening and swelling. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid and leads to burning pain that starts suddenly and can be quite debilitating. With gout, the ankle and foot become so tender that even the slightest touch can cause a great deal of pain.
The best thing that you can do if you are struck by ankle pain is to rest the joint. Ankle pain always gets much worse if it is stretched and exercised despite the pain. Keeping the feet in an elevated position also helps to relieve ankle pain. Application of cold compress in the form of ice can also help repress the ankle pain. If the ankle pain is still unbearable, it is always best to consult the doctor regarding ankle pain. The doctor may prescribe tests and investigations like X-rays and MRIs or may prescribe some painkillers to start with. Consult the doctor to heal your ankle pain and lead a healthy life.
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