The ankles support the weight of your body and help you balance, stand, and move. Pain in this body part can limit your productivity. Ankle pain can happen due to injury and medical conditions such as arthritis. Depending on the cause, your ankle may swell, and you may experience stiffness anywhere around the ankle. Here is how to treat Portland ankle pain at home while waiting to see your doctor.
How can I relieve ankle pain at home?
Most ankle pain gets better with home treatments such as rest. For example, if the pain is due to a sprain, you should stay off your feet for a while. You can consult your healthcare provider if you are unsure how long you should rest. If you need to get around, you can use crutches or a walking boot to avoid putting weight on your ankle.
Applying ice or cold compress to the affected area can help alleviate symptoms such as swelling. However, it would be best if you did not place an ice pack directly on your skin to avoid skin damage. Keeping your legs elevated above your heart can also help reduce swelling. You can use a splint to keep your foot raised at night. Sometimes wrapping an elastic bandage around your ankle may help with inflammation. However, be sure not to cover it so tightly.
As you manage ankle pain at home, you want to avoid footwear such as sandals, flip flops, and shoes that are too loose. Instead, ensure that your shoes offer adequate support for your ankles and feet, especially when playing a sport.
Medical treatment for ankle pain
If your pain persists even after trying home remedies, your doctor may recommend braces and splints to stabilize your ankle. There are different braces, and the one your specialist may recommend should work best for your lifestyle. If you have severe pain and swelling, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat gout and arthritis. Your provider may also custom-make orthotic inserts for your feet to support stability and ensure proper alignment. Minimally invasive procedures such as steroid injections and joint aspiration can help relieve pain and swelling. Providers recommend cortisone shots for a short period to avoid side effects such as cartilage damage.
If your ankle pain is due to torn ligaments or tendons, surgery can help relieve pain and restore function.
How can I prevent ankle pain?
You may not always prevent ankle pain, but maintaining good health can help keep your tendons, ligaments, and bones strong. The following tips can help reduce your risk of ankle pain caused by injuries.
- Warm-up before exercising. Stretching before exercising is essential since it helps loosen your muscles and soft tissues, making them less likely to get damaged.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra body weight puts excess pressure on joints, including your ankles. Besides preventing ankle pain, maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Do not ignore pain. If you feel pain in your ankle, you should see your provider if the pain does not get better. Exercising through the pan can worsen an injury.
If your pain does not improve with home treatments, visit your doctor at Sports Health Northwest, Inc for treatment to alleviate pain.