Ankle pain describes any level of pain or discomfort in one or both ankles. From residual pain as a result of a simple ankle sprain to a more chronic long-term condition, ankle pain does not have to include swelling for our clinic to diagnose the condition. A research study released by the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) found nearly 85 percent of ankle injuries are sprains.
Symptoms of Ankle Pain
Look at your legs as highways of nerves, muscles, and tendons. Along the highway between the upper leg and the tip of your feet sits the ankle. The ankle acts as the support for many physical activities that apply pressure to the legs and feet. An extended stint participating in a physical activity can produce swelling and/or bruising around one or both ankles. Another symptom of ankle pain you may experience is a numb feeling that at times turns into a tingling sensation. If you feel ankle stiffness or an ankle weakened by constant exertion, you may be more susceptible to an ankle sprain. Ultimately you may eventually experience inner ankle pain or back of ankle pain around the Achilles tendon.
With nearly 85 percent of all ankle pain caused by sprains, people that are highly active on a daily basis are the most susceptible to feeling pain in one or both ankles. Sprains commonly occur when the ankle rolls or twists well beyond the point where it should move. For example, when you see a basketball player clutching his or her ankle, chances are good the player has suffered an ankle injury caused by the rolling or twisting of the ankle.
What can cause Ankle Pain without injury?
Physical injury is not the only way you can experience inside ankle pain. There are several non-traumatic causes of ankle pain that can require non-surgical therapy.
- Joint infection
- Clogged blood vessels
- Nerve damage
It is important for patients to explain to their physicians exactly what they were doing at the onset of ankle pain. Your doctor will conduct an examination using differential diagnosis to rule out different causes of the medical condition and determine the root cause of your persistent pain. Your doctor will then determine an effective treatment plan. This will usually begin with medication or a non-invasive treatment and rehabilitation program or both. The doctor may use one or more imaging tests, and in some cases fluid from the ankle joint may be taken to check for infection or other underlying conditions to help detect the source of the pain.
You have probably heard your mother tell you that prevention is the best medicine. Maintaining strength in the muscles that support your ankle is the best preventative measure you can take. Wearing an easy to remove ankle brace provides enough support to prevent the pain caused by ankle sprains during high impact physical activities. Braces keep the ankle firm, without limiting mobility during these activities, or during an athletic competition. To prevent ankle pain, you should perform one or more of the following exercises on a regular basis to keep the ankle mobile and strong.
- Calf raises
- Calf stretches
- Single leg balancing
- Making the shape of each letter of the alphabet with your foot
Treatment for Ankle Pain in Mesa, AZ
The key to eliminating ankle pain is to use non-invasive treatment techniques that make recovery times shorter for our patients. Ankle surgeries often lead to more pain after the procedure is completed. Dr. Jolley and Dr. Raczkowski implement a wide variety of chiropractic and physical therapy techniques in the initial phases of recovery that may include hands on manual therapy, electrical stimulation, ice, ultrasound, and dry needling to specific rehabilitation exercises as the pain and swelling is reduced to ensure our patients return to work and continue to enjoy active lifestyles. An example of some exercises you may be prescribed include:
- Walking figure 8’s
- Running figure 8’s
- Side stepping
- Theraband exercises
- Towel scrunches
Typical recovery time from an ankle sprain should be between 2-6 weeks depending on the severity. Most people can recover without intervention however, this injury will leave your ankle weaker than before. It is always best to have the ankle injury rehabilitated properly by a professional such as those at The Center For Total Back Care. If you are not recovering as expected, call us at (480) 633-8293.