You use your feet and ankles every day, whether you’re walking to work or cooking in the kitchen. So if it hurts to walk, it could significantly affect your daily life and cause frustration. Whatever the cause may be, there are several effective remedies that could ease your pain and help you spring back into action. Read on for the 5 best ways to reduce ankle pain!
1. RICE Method
The RICE method is a tried and tested technique for ankle pain caused by injuries or medical conditions. It’s best started soon after an injury or pain occurs so that you can reduce your body’s natural inflammatory reaction. Here’s what the acronym stands for:
- Stay off your ankle as much as possible for a few days to ensure proper healing and pain relief. Crutches or other assistive devices can help keep weight off your ankle.
- Reduce swelling by applying an ice pack or cold compress on your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day.
- Wrap an elastic bandage around your ankle to reduce swelling.
- Elevate your ankle above heart level to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Regular exercises can help loosen up muscles and tendons, reducing pain and stiffness in your feet and ankles. It’s most effective at reducing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. Simply taking a brisk walk outside or doing light stretching can do wonders in relieving pain.
3. Oral or Topical Pain Medications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can effectively relieve pain and reduce swelling. Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen will help, but it’s still best to talk to your doctor before taking any medication. Remember to stick to the recommended dose.
On the other hand, creams or gels with menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus are safe ways to relieve pain. You can apply them periodically throughout the day. Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe more potent oral or topical medication.
4. Wear Supportive Footwear
Wearing supportive footwear can prevent ankle pain and damage. Make sure that your shoes provide good support and cushioning for your feet and ankles. Using orthotics can also help relieve stress on your feet and provide stability. Avoid wearing sandals and shoes that are too loose or too tight, since they don’t promote proper stability and alignment.
5. Ankle Surgery
Surgery may not be necessary for most ankle problems. Often, doctors will only recommend surgery when other treatments have failed. However, when your ankles are badly broken, deformed, unstable, and cause constant pain, surgery might be the best option. Some ankle surgeries that could reduce your pain are:
Total Ankle Replacement Surgery
Total ankle replacement or ankle arthroplasty is a procedure used to treat ankle arthritis. It can reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve joint stability. In this procedure, your surgeon replaces the damaged parts of your ankle with prosthetics made of either plastic or metal. While often used on people with chronic ankle pain, individuals with the following are not ideal candidates for this procedure:
- Bone infections
- Circulatory problems
Ankle Fracture Repair Surgery
If you break any bones in your ankle joint, whether due to injury or certain medical conditions, your doctor can relieve your pain and repair your bones through ankle fracture repair surgery. Through this procedure, your surgeon can reposition your broken bone fragments and secure them with metal plates and screws, thus facilitating proper healing.
Also known as ankle arthrodesis, this type of surgery fuses the bones of your ankle to eliminate pain, swelling, and stiffness. The bones are attached together with plates, nails, screws, or other hardware. It’s usually done to treat severe ankle arthritis.
Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
If you’ve repeatedly sprained your ankle or have certain foot deformities, your ligaments may start to weaken and loosen. When this happens, your ankle becomes unstable. In lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, also called a Broström procedure, your surgeon repairs the ligaments outside your ankle, tightening them and promoting stability.
Foot and Ankle Care in Cincinnati and Milford, Ohio
Just as there are a variety of causes of ankle pain, there are also a multitude of remedies that you can use to combat pain, swelling, and other symptoms. Thankfully, ankle pain remedies are quite simple and effective in getting you back on your feet. While many ankle issues get better with home treatments, it’s in your best interest to consult a medical professional to help your ankle heal.
At Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we know how foot and ankle pain could really slow you down. Our highly skilled podiatrists and staff can treat a wide range of conditions that affect your ankles and feet. We can guide you through lifestyle changes, exercises, and other treatment methods tailored to your condition. Whether nonsurgical or surgical, we’ll deliver impeccable treatment and care suited to your podiatric needs.