How Do I Treat Medial Ankle Pain?

Dan Cavallari

Specific treatments for medial ankle pain may vary according to the cause of that pain, and whether the pain is acute or chronic. Acute pain is caused by an injury and lasts only for a short period of time, while chronic pain may be the result of an injury or of an ongoing condition that leads to regular or constant pain. Common causes of medial ankle pain include a sprained ankle, nerve damage, fractures, pronation, fatigue, and tendinitis. Treatments are often similar for these injuries, though more severe cases will require more involved medical attention.

Sprains and strains are common causes of medial ankle pain.
Sprains and strains are common causes of medial ankle pain.

Most instances of acute medial ankle pain can be treated with the RICE treatment. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and these actions are meant to help keep swelling to a minimum. The RICE treatment also helps ensure the ankle does not get re-injured or injured worse than it already is by allowing weight to be placed on it. Elevating the injured ankle will stimulate blood flow to the ankle, thereby promoting faster healing time. Compression will also help stimulate blood flow and will add extra stability to injured ligaments or tendons.

A physician will determine the cause of ankle pain.
A physician will determine the cause of ankle pain.

If the medial ankle pain is due to a bone fracture, the RICE treatment may be used as well. If the fracture is more severe and is causing extreme pain, further medical attention is probably necessary. A doctor may actually need to perform surgery to repair the damaged bone in very severe instances of a bone fracture, though smaller fractures often heal on their own if given enough time and care. In either case, it is important to consult a doctor who can recommend the best course of treatment for a fracture.

Chronic conditions can cause medial ankle pain, and such conditions may require physical therapy or orthotics. Orthotics are corrective devices that help the foot and ankle move in the proper motion to avoid pain and damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. These orthotics may take the form of an ankle brace, shoe insole, or even a cast. Conditions such as pronation, in which the foot or ankle rolls either inward or outward, can be remedied to some degree by using orthotics. Physical therapy is also sometimes used to help retrain the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to work in a more efficient way that will cut down on pain.

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