How do I Treat Ankle Pain?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The ankle, or fibiotalar joint, can be a source of great pain if it becomes injured. Ankle pain should be sourced to its cause, then treated immediately to avoid further discomfort or damage to the joint. If ankle problems aren't treated, pain or a problem in the knees could be the result. Some effective treatments for ankle pain include those for sprain, arthritis and joint instability.

The first thing to do for an ankle sprain is to get off the feet. The rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) method should then be used. Ice packs can be placed on the ankle bone for about 15 minutes each time several times a day. The ice packs can help relieve ankle pain and swelling. Rest is important; the sprained ankle should be raised above heart level, such as by placing the affected leg on a stack of pillows on a footstool while the person is sitting down.

A doctor's visit can confirm whether the ankle pain is caused by a sprain or a break. Crutches or a cast may be needed depending on the diagnosis. The crucial thing to remember when treating ankle problems is to stay off the feet as much as possible. Having the body's weight putting pressure on the joint is likely to make the ankle problem as well as the pain worse.


Ankle arthritis is the inflammation of the fibiotalar joint. This type of arthritis is known for being one of the most painful kinds. Maintaining a desirable body weight helps limit the undue pressure on the joint that can cause ankle pain. Pain relieving medication and arch supports are other treatments for arthritic ankles. Surgery may be an option if the pain of ankle arthritis interferes with a person's daily living.

Ankle instability pain treatment often includes drugs such as ibuprofen. This over-the-counter medication may help reduce ankle inflammation as well as the pain. Ankle instability occurs when the joint weakens and becomes wobbly or unstable such as after an injury or a strain.

An ankle roll exercise may help relieve joint pain. The person experiencing ankle pain sits on the floor with the legs extended. With the toes pointed, both feet are rotated in one direction before changing directions. Ankle rolls may relieve pain as well as make the joints work more smoothly.

An ankle brace is worn to help pain from arthritis or other conditions. Ankle braces are customized and may be used with a cane during walks. Wearing an ankle brace may improve the pain so that surgery isn't necessary.



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