| What Causes Ankle Pain?
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What Causes Ankle Pain?

What Causes Ankle Pain?

Ankle pain is a common condition in the United States. Many people make a trip to their local orthopedic specialist when they feel ankle pain. Ankle pain can be acute and severe, or it can be chronic and throbbing. Regardless of the type of ankle pain or the cause, ankle pain can greatly diminish a person’s quality of life. Ankle pain can stop a person from attending social events or working out regularly. There are certain causes of ankle pain that are more common than others. Below are the most common causes of ankle pain.

Ankle Sprain

            Ankle sprains are one of the most common causes of ankle pain. Ankle sprains can occur when the ankle rolls or moves in a way that is not normal for the body. This can be done when walking normally. However, there is a higher risk of spraining the ankle while running, playing sports that involve jumping, or wearing high heeled shoes or the wrong type of shoes for the activity you are participating in.

Many people who sprain their ankle leave it untreated. This is because too many people, ankle sprains are not a serious injury. However, left untreated, ankle sprains can cause serious problems in the future. In addition to potentially causing chronic ankle pains, ankle sprains that are left untreated can make people more prone to spraining their ankles in the future. These sprains are often more severe and more painful than the initial sprains.


            Gout is another cause of ankle pain. Gout is characterized by severe redness and swelling on a joint, such as the ankle. It is a very common condition that occurs due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Oftentimes, behavioral modification is enough to minimize symptoms. This can consist of diet and exercise changes. Behavioral modifications are particularly helpful when gout is caught in the early stages. If gout persists, medication may be necessary.


            Osteoarthritis is another common cause of ankle pain. The ankle consists of two synovial joints that work together to allow for movement of the ankle. When the joints develop osteoarthritis, the movement of the ankle can become very painful. Oftentimes, people diagnosed with osteoarthritis find it is difficult to live their normal daily lives.

After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis, certain lifestyle changes may need to be made to relieve some of the pain felt by the patient. This can include changing footwear and changing exercise habits. While osteoarthritis progression can be slowed, it cannot be completely stopped or reversed as it is a degenerative condition.

Achilles Tendonitis

            Achilles tendonitis is a common cause of severe ankle pain. The Achilles tendon runs along the back of the ankle. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause an extreme amount of pain for the patient. Many patients with Achilles Tendonitis find they are unable to walk without pain which can greatly impact their quality of life. Fortunately, when caught early, rest and ice are usually enough to allow the swelling to come down and minimize the pain.

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