Are you experiencing ankle pain without any obvious cause?
Just imagine, you're out for a walk when suddenly a pain shoots through your ankle for no apparent reason!
Without an obvious injury, you may be wondering where the pain is coming from. Although this situation may seem strange, it is not unusual. One study estimates that about 15% of middle-aged and older people experience frequent ankle pain. Although, younger people are also susceptible to ankle pain. If you experience sudden ankle pain without injury, there may be a medical cause for your discomfort. Learn more about the possible causes of sudden ankle pain and home remedies for treating it.
Why Does My Ankle Suddenly Hurt For No Reason?
- Injured tendons or nerves, tendinopathy, infection, and stress fractures can be some of the reasons.
- If you have recently changed shoes, frequently wear high heels, have flat feet, or play sports with repetitive stress on your legs and ankles, such as runners or hikers, sudden ankle pain is common.
- With osteoarthritis, the cushion of cartilage between two bones gradually wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other which is painful. You may also have some stiffness and tenderness.
- Lupus is another autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. It tends to cause swelling, muscle pain, and joint pain in various parts of the body, including the feet and ankles.
- Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It most commonly affects the big toe, but can and often does affect other joints, including the ankle.
- If the pain is located at the back of the heel, you may be experiencing Achilles tendonitis.
- Flat feet, in which the arch of the foot has little curvature, and high arches, in which the arch of the foot has an exaggerated curvature, can change the way you walk. This often puts pressure on other areas of the foot to compensate for the uneven arch.
In-Home Treatment for Ankle Pain
Try the following methods to help treat your ankle at home:
- If the pain is due to injury, provide first aid to control swelling and pain. Rest the ankle. Put ice for about 20 minutes and repeat three times a day. Compress the ankle, but not too tightly, by placing an elastic bandage.
- Ankle pain can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, pain relievers, and other over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Crutches and walkers are helpful for mobility and rest.
- Exercises facilitated by a physical therapist can help restore ankle strength and flexibility.
When Does Foot or Ankle Pain Need Medical Attention?
If you can't treat the pain yourself or have a condition that could affect your joints or soft tissues, you may need further investigation. Consider meeting a doctor if,
- The pain does not improve in the initial few days.
- The pain is getting worse
- It's still causing problems after two weeks of self-care.
- You have sores that do not heal
- The skin has changed color, especially if it has turned dark blue or black.
- The foot has changed shape or is swollen.
- You have a high temperature or feel hot and chilly
- It is red, hot, or swollen, as you may have an infection.
- The problem keeps coming back or lasts more than three months
- Having an inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma
- You have diabetes
- You are taking steroids, biologics, or other medications that affect your immune system.
Ankle pain can be too debilitating if not addressed on time. It affects your mobility and speed, both. Get it treated and enjoy a painfree life.