If you step funny and roll your ankle, then why it hurts in the days that follow is obvious. But what if you have chronic or frequent ankle pain for seemingly no reason at all? There is a reason for your ankle pain, you just have to figure out what it is. Visiting a foot and ankle specialist is a good way to do so. Here are some of the possible explanations they may explore.
Is your ankle pain accompanied by stiffness? Does it feel like your joint loosens up and the pain subsides once you start moving it a little more? Then, osteoarthritis may be at fault for you ankle pain. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint wears away after years of use. It's irreversible, but there are plenty of things you can do to manage the resulting pain and inflammation. Topical NSAIDs like diclofenac sodium work well. If your ankle arthritis becomes really severe, your doctor may recommend an ankle replacement, but that's usually pretty far down the road.
Your ankle pain could be due to your natural foot anatomy. If you have flat feet, or in other words, if you don't have much of an arch to your foot, your foot may roll inward as you step. This motion is hard on the ligaments and tendons in your ankle, which can cause pain and inflammation. If your doctor feels that flat feet are to blame for your ankle pain, they may recommend orthotics for you to wear in your shoes. These orthotic inserts can help keep your foot from rolling inward, reducing the strain on your ankles. Various exercises to strengthen your calves and feet may also help reduce this motion over time, combating your ankle soreness.
Bursitis is a condition in which the fluid-filled, padded sacs in a joint become irritated and inflamed. It's rather common in ankles. Usually, the pain is most intense right below the bone that protrudes at the outside of the ankle. Bursitis is common in people who wear high heels. It's also common in people who begin working out too quickly without giving their body time to adapt. If your doctor diagnoses your ankle pain as bursitis, they'll likely recommend a change in footwear and activity. Icing the joint will help, too. Most cases clear up within a few weeks with this basic care.
Just because ankle pain is not piercing or sudden does not mean it should not be treated. Chronic or repeated ankle pain is an issue, too. See a doctor, and get to the bottom of it. For more information, contact a foot and ankle specialist in your area.