ankle pain runner

Ankle Joint Pain

Ankle joint pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint that we treat in our sports injury clinic.

Are you experiencing ankle pain due to a sports injury or overuse? You may find yourself frustrated as your normal active lifestyle is restricted or you may be puzzled as a non-athlete that you an experiencing ankle pain without any kind of trauma. 

People with ankle pain may experience a lack of confidence and feel frustrated that are unable to put their shoes on, run freely or be able to complete daily tasks pain-free such as walking up the stairs

The location of the pain and your medical history can provide insight into the possible causes of your ankle pain. At our clinic, our physiotherapists and sports therapists will work with you to identify the source of your pain and develop a personalised treatment plan to help you recover as quickly as possible. 

We believe that educating our patients is an essential part of the recovery process. We will take the time to explain your condition and the steps you need to take to promote healing and prevent further injury. With our expertise and guidance, you can regain strength, mobility, and function in your ankle joint and return to your daily activities with confidence.

So What Are The Stats?

 

  1. According to a survey conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, ankle sprains are the most common injury sustained by people in the UK participating in sports or physical activity. An estimated 25,000 people suffer from ankle sprains every day in the UK.
  2. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that ankle pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint among adults in the UK, with a prevalence rate of approximately 6%. The study also found that ankle pain was more common in women than men.
  3. According to a report by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), ankle pain is a common reason for seeking medical attention in the UK, and is a leading cause of disability and time off work. The report also notes that ankle pain can be caused by a range of factors, including sprains, strains, arthritis, and other underlying conditions.
ankle pain man reaching to foot

Common Causes Of Ankle Joint Pain

 

  1. Ankle sprains: This occurs when the ligaments supporting the ankle joint are stretched or torn, often due to a sudden twisting or rolling motion.
  2. Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes joint inflammation and pain. It can affect the ankle joint, causing stiffness and pain.
  3. Tendinitis/ Tendinopathy: Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath that surrounds the tendon. Tendinitis can occur in the ankle and cause pain and discomfort. Tendinopathy is more common and involves changes to the internal structure of the tendon.
  4. Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, including the ankle joint. It can cause sudden and severe pain.
  5. Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the ankle joint, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.
ankle injury picture

Continued...

  1. Overuse: Overuse of the ankle joint can cause pain and discomfort, particularly in athletes or people who engage in repetitive activities.
  2. Fractures: Fractures of the ankle bones or the bones in the foot can cause ankle joint pain.
  3. Plantar fasciitis: This is an inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and attaches to the heel bone. It can cause pain in the ankle joint as well as the foot.
  4. Nerve damage: Nerve damage in the ankle or foot can cause pain and discomfort in the ankle joint.
  5. Poor footwear: Shoes that don’t fit properly or lack sufficient support can put a strain on the ankle joint and cause pain.
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Will My Ankle Pain Resolve?

Will My Ankle Pain Resolve?

Many people are worried that the pain is here to stay.
Physiotherapy uses evidence-based treatments to help you return to the things you love. In my experience, 90% of ankle joint pain cases fully resolve without the need for further intervention beyond physio.

Often the pain is exacerbated by compensation strategies, weakness and tightness.

With close connections to local consultants, we can help guide you on whether an injection or possibly surgery is needed in the small minority of cases where physio is unsuccessful.

Will My Ankle Pain Resolve?

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Could My Ankle Pain Be Coming From My Shoes?

We often will assess the wear on your shoes if you have ankle pain. This gives us clues to the way you are moving and whether we can help to normalise this through exercises and training cues.

It is possible that your ankle pain could be coming from your shoes. 

Wearing shoes that don't fit properly or that lack sufficient support can put a strain on your ankle joint and cause pain. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause your feet to slide or rub against the inside of the shoe, leading to blisters, calluses, and discomfort. 

Shoes that don't provide adequate arch support can also lead to overpronation (when the foot rolls inward) or supination (when the foot rolls outward), both of which can cause ankle pain. High heels or shoes with a narrow toe box can also cause strain on your ankle joint and lead to pain.

Could My Ankle Pain Be Coming From My Shoes?

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What Causes Ankle Joint Pain At Night?

Pain experienced at night can be a frustrating and disruptive problem. There are several potential causes of ankle pain at night, including injury or trauma to the ankle, such as a sprain, strain, or fracture. 

This can cause inflammation and pain that can worsen when you're at rest, especially if you elevate your feet while sleeping. Another possible cause of nighttime ankle pain is arthritis, which can cause joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain, and can be exacerbated by changes in temperature and humidity. 

Plantar fasciitis/plantar fasciosis is another potential cause of ankle pain at night, which is characterized by pain in the heel or bottom of the foot, and can make it difficult to walk or stand for prolonged periods of time. 

In some cases, ankle joint pain at night may also be caused by poor circulation or nerve damage. 

What Causes Ankle Joint Pain At Night?

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What Causes Ankle Joint Pain When Waking Up In The Morning? 

Morning ankle joint pain can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. It can be caused by a variety of factors. 

One possible cause is arthritis, which can cause joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain, particularly in the morning.

Another potential cause of ankle pain when waking up is plantar fasciitis, which is an irritation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and attaches to the heel bone. 

This can cause pain in the heel and ankle, especially in the morning when the foot is first placed on the ground. In some cases, ankle joint pain when waking up may also be caused by poor circulation, nerve damage, or an injury such as a sprain or strain.

What Causes Ankle Joint Pain When Waking Up In The Morning? 

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Why Do I Get Ankle Joint Pain After Running?

Ankle joint pain after running can be a common issue for runners. 

One possible cause is overuse, which can lead to inflammation and pain in the ankle joint. Poor running technique or running on uneven surfaces can also put excessive strain on the ankle joint, leading to pain and discomfort. 

Another potential cause of ankle pain after running is an ankle sprain, which can occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle joint are stretched or torn. This can cause swelling, bruising, and pain in the ankle, especially when weight is put on it. In some cases, ankle joint pain after running may also be related to underlying conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis. 

Why Do I Get Ankle Joint Pain After Running?

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Why Do I Have Ankle Swelling Without An Injury?

Ankle pain and swelling without a known injury can be caused by several factors.

One possible cause is arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation of the joints, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness. 

Another potential cause is gout, a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, including the ankle joint.
Additionally, tendonitis or inflammation of the tendons in the ankle can cause pain and swelling.

Other possible causes of ankle pain and swelling without injury include infections, circulation problems, and nerve problems. 

Why Do I Have Ankle Swelling Without An Injury?

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ankle joint mobilisation in barnstaple

What Treatments Help Ankle Joint Pain?

Within our clinic patients use a wide variety of treatments to help with ankle pain including:

  • Joint mobilisations
  • Proprioceptive exercises – we love the bosu ball and wobble cushion for this
  • Soft tissue mobilisations
  • Lymphatouch for swelling/ scar management
  • Antigravity treadmill 
  • Blood flood restriction training
  • Recovery Boots
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Will Physio For Ankle Joint Pain Hurt?

Physio can sometimes be a little uncomfortable as you begin to mobilise and strengthen the joint. We always work within pain limits and will always work within levels that you can cope with. High-level rehab (which is so often missed for non-athletes) although challenging is often not painful but VERY effective.

What Is The Next Step?

If you are interested in starting your journey to recovery then why not book a 30-minute FREE phone consultation? Click the button below to find a suitable time.

Book Free Phone Consultation Here

How Do Our Team Diagnose Ankle Conditions?

Our team are experienced in ankle pain. There are a series of clinical tests that help us to identify the structure/ structures affected. Nicole is currently training for Diagnostic ultrasound so we can also scan in real-time during the appointment to rule out other causes. Many people come in overwhelmed with the number of conditions that affect the ankle and want some clarity on what they should be doing and what things to avoid.

Interesting links to check out

Cleveland Clinic

Versus Arthritis

NHS