Ankle Pain: The Common Causes
Ankle pain is a common problem among people of all ages. However, the chances of developing ankle pain become higher when you reach middle age. The most common causes of ankle pain are related to soft tissues. Here is a list of some reasons why you might have developed ankle pain:
- Plantar fasciitis: If you are feeling a sharp pain in your heel along your foot’s arch, there are high chances that it is caused by plantar fasciitis. This problem occurs because of inflammation of the soft tissue in your heels called the plantar fascia. This type of ankle pain is the most painful during the morning or when you stay inactive for hours.
- Achilles tendonitis: Achilles is a tendon that is responsible for connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. If you overuse this tendon for some reason (the most common reason is over-exercising), it becomes irritated and you develop pain in the ankle.
- Ankle sprains: If you damage your bones because of any injury or jerk, your soft tissues that connect the bones of the foot might also get damaged. This damage of ligaments is called ankle sprains and can reduce the movement of your ankle.
Ankle Pain Treatment At Home
The best remedies for ankle pain come from a method called the RICE. Here is how you can use the RICE method to do ankle pain treatment at home:
- Rest: Rest your ankle as much as possible. You don’t have to do exercises for painful ankles for the first few days.
- Ice: Put an ice bag on the painful part of your ankle for about 20 to 25 minutes with a gap of one and a half hours between two icing sessions. Icing can numb the pain and reduce swelling to a great extent.
- Compression: Use an elastic bandage to wrap and compress your injured ankle.
- Elevation: Keep your ankle raised above your heart level most of the time.
Exercises To Relieve Ankle Pain
After the resting and home remedies phase, you will need to do a workout at home so that the muscles and tendons of your foot can loosen up a bit and start working again. Scientific studies conducted on the results of workouts have found that you can do exercises to relieve ankle pain whether your pain is caused by Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or ankle sprains.
Lower body workout for ankle pain is not like other workouts. To reduce the ankle pain, you have to do exercises for painful ankles at least three times a day. Once your ankle becomes a little flexible, you can increase the frequency and decrease the intensity of exercises to help ankle pain.
Down below, we have mentioned 5 leg exercises that will help you treat your problem. You can do these ankle pain exercises in combination or select any one exercise that works the best for you. Read on:
- Achilles Tendon And Plantar Fascia Stretch
You can do this exercise to reduce ankle pain in two areas: Plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Wrap a towel or any long cotton cloth around your foot’s ball and pull it towards yourself. You have to make sure that your knee stays straight throughout the leg ankle pain exercise.
- Sitting Plantar Fascia Stretch
If the plantar fascia is the trouble spot, you can do this sitting exercise to reduce ankle pain. To do this exercise, you have to cover your foot over the other knee, hold your toes’ base, and pull it back for about 15-20 seconds.
- Towel pickup
It is one of those anterior ankle pain exercises that improve the body balance along with reducing the pain. To do this exercise, you have to place a towel in front of your chair and try to grab it only with your toes. Once you get comfortable with this leg ankle pain exercise, you can add weight to the towel.
- Deep Calf Stretch
Some people regard it as the best exercise for ankle pain as it is easy to perform and yet gives effective results in a short period of time. To practice it, you have to stand on a step with heels hanging in the air. Drop the heels towards the ground and feel your Achilles tendon and calf muscles getting stretched.
- Big Toe Lift And Hold
This exercise treats ankle problems by providing stability to your foot. To do it, you have to lift the big toe of one foot, hold it in this position for a few seconds, relax, and then repeat with the other toe.
Tips For Ankle Pain Relief Exercises
Use the following tips to get the best out of exercises for painful ankles:
- What is best exercise for ankle pain for someone else might not be so good for you because of different causes of pain. So, choose ankle pain relief exercises according to your ankle issue.
- Never move your ankles too quickly when doing exercises to help ankle pain. If you move slowly, you also reduce the chances of injuries or discomfort.
- If you have Achilles tendon issues, you should avoid bouncing while doing stretches or exercises for painful ankles. Otherwise, you will worsen the problem of the Achilles tendon.
- While doing the calf stretch, you have to keep your heel planted on the ground, otherwise, the Achilles tendon will not get fully stretched.
- If you feel pain while practising exercises for painful ankles, you should immediately stop. If the pain is only minor, you can take a rest and relax your muscles. But if you feel pain when you restart doing the anterior ankle pain exercises, you should consult your doctor or a physical therapist.
- You can use the RICE treatment method even on the days when you are doing the exercises for painful ankles.
There are various ankle pain exercises that can treat the root cause of the problem and provide you relief from pain. Since these exercises are easy to do, you can try various exercises and then stick to only those that are relieving your pain.