When you have a swollen and sore ankle, it’s very distracting throughout your day and can interfere with walking anywhere. After all, the ankle bears your full body weight and helps you do everything from driving to working to doing chores around the house.
The single most common cause of ankle pain and swelling is an ankle sprain, which occurs due to an overstretching or tearing of one or more ligaments in the ankle. Typically, ankle sprains happen if you twist the joint suddenly, forcefully, or awkwardly, such as when you step off a curb too quickly or run on an uneven surface. Repetitive motions, such as jumping while playing basketball or volleyball, can slowly cause a sprained ankle to develop.
Let’s talk about some of the best ways to treat an injured ankle, and where you can go here in the Cincinnati area for expert podiatry care if you’re suffering from persistent ankle pain.
Why Do I Have Ankle Pain and Swelling?
The following medical conditions may cause pain and swelling in your ankle area:
- Sprained ankle
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Stress fracture
- Achilles tendonitis
How Can I Control the Pain and Swelling in My Ankle?
For relatively minor sprains and inflammation, the pain and swelling should respond well to the tried-and-true RICE protocol:
In other words, stay off of the ankle as much as possible and allow it to heal. Put a covered ice pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time several times a day, especially during the first several days after the pain started. Keep the ankle wrapped and supported (mild compression) with an elastic bandage. Keep the ankle elevated above the level of your heart as much as possible for the first few days.
What Can a Podiatrist Do for My Ankle Pain?
If your symptoms persist despite these self-care measures, then it is in your best interest to see an experienced podiatrist for a medical evaluation and treatment. Depending on your diagnosis, your foot doctor may advise:
- Wearing a brace to stabilize the movement of the ankle and to off-load your body weight
- Receiving physician-administered steroid injections into the ankle to relieve pain
- Aspirating the ankle joint to remove excess fluid (performed by your podiatrist)
- Taking pain-relief medication, possibly prescription-strength
- Wearing custom shoe inserts (orthotics) to provide support of your ankles
- Having physical therapy to improve muscle strength in your legs in order to provide full support of your ankles
If these measures do not help to relieve your ankle pain and swelling, then your foot and ankle doctor may recommend ankle surgery. This can be done to successfully treat severe injuries, advanced arthritis, and ankle instability.
Foot and Ankle Care in Cincinnati
If your ankle pain and swelling persist, schedule a consultation with one of our expert foot doctors here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. We have 18 locations across the Cincinnati area for your convenience, and we hope to see you at our location nearest you.