Overcoming Ankle Pain With Physical Therapy

overcoming ankle pain with physical therapy

Ankle pain can be debilitating, especially chronic pain, making standing, walking, and performing daily activities difficult. Research shows that nearly 12% of people in the United States will suffer from ankle pain at some point.

Treatment is essential for those with chronic ankle pain to help alleviate discomfort, improve function, and improve quality of life. If you experience ankle pain, you may feel frustrated and tired of it hindering your ability to do the things you love the most.

Below, we will discuss the most important things you need to know about the common causes of ankle pain, the treatments, and how physical therapy can significantly help you, whether you experience ankle pain, shoulder pain, limited range of motion, or any other issue.

The Most Common Causes of Ankle Pain

The ankle is a complex joint with supportive muscles, bones, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Injuries to this area or even normal wear and tear can cause significant pain. Injuries to your ankles can affect your ability to stand, walk, garden, work, play sports, and much more.

However, ankle pain may also be caused by other medical conditions, such as gout, arthritis, or infections.

Usually, ankle pain will get better when you rest, apply ice, and take over-the-counter pain medication. More severe injuries may require additional treatment, although surgery is rarely needed unless you have a broken bone.

Some of the most common causes of injuries that can cause ankle pain include the following:

  • Tendinitis or Achilles tendinitis
  • Sports injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Bursitis
  • Ankle fractures or broken bones
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS)
  • Sinus tarsi syndrome
  • Sural nerve entrapment or a pinched nerve
  • Sprained ankle

Some health conditions can cause ankle pain, including the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Flat feet
  • High arch feet
  • Foot and ankle arthritis
  • Infections such as cellulitis or osteomyelitis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis 

Even mild ankle pain can cause many issues, and more severe injuries can disable one’s ability to put weight on one’s foot.

Thankfully, physical therapy is a highly effective treatment for various ankle problems. Strengthening the joints in the muscles around the ankle can help prevent further injury and alleviate pain.

Treatments for Ankle Pain

Physical therapy may include joint manipulation, dry needling, cupping, exercises, and other modalities to help improve your range of motion and flexibility while strengthening your ankle. If you are suffering from ankle pain, consider seeking the help of an experienced physical therapist near you.

  • Physical Therapy — Working with an experienced physical therapist will help you strengthen the muscles and tendons around your ankle, improve your strength and flexibility, and significantly speed up the healing process. 
  • Dry Needling — A method that is utilized to increase blood flow, reduce pain, and decrease muscle tightness.
  • Joint Manipulation – Your joints move better by manually manipulating them.
  • Ankle Surgery — Sometimes surgery is needed to repair ligament, tear or repair a tendon, treat severe arthritis, or fix fractures. Ankle surgery is generally a minimally invasive procedure called ankle arthroscopy or fusion.

Your physical therapist will work with you to determine the best treatment plan to alleviate pain and help you return to being stable on your feet and enjoying life again.

Preventing Ankle Pain

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and you may not always be able to prevent ankle pain. However, there are several things you can do to minimize your risk of developing pain in your ankle, such as:

  • Ensure that your body has adequate recovery time after intense physical activity.
  • Wear proper protective equipment.
  • Avoid playing through the pain if you become injured.
  • Always stretch and warm up properly before working out or playing sports.
  • Ensure that you cool down and stretch adequately after physical activity.

It is also essential to practice general safety at home and work.

  • Ensure that your workspace and home are clear of clutter to avoid tripping.
  • Always use the proper equipment or tools to access things and avoid standing on unstable things such as chairs or tables.
  • Use a walker or cane if you have challenges walking or are at a higher risk of falling.

How Can I Find a Qualified Physical Therapist Near Me? 

Ask your doctor for a referral if necessary, and do some research online to find a qualified physical therapist experienced in treating ankle pain. Once you have a few options, you can call each office to ask about their qualifications, cost, insurance, and possible treatment options to ensure the therapist you choose is the best fit for you. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be back on your feet and in action!

UpSlope Physical Therapy & Performance in Fort Collins Is Here to Help You

If you are experiencing pain in your ankle, shoulder, hip, knee, or back, struggling to move your body, or wanting to improve your performance on the field, then it’s time to call UpSlope Physical Therapy and Performance. 

We are here to help you achieve your full potential and overcome obstacles to improve your quality of life, strength, mobility, and vitality. Our services include manual therapy, dry, needling, corrective movements, cupping, running assessments, and more.

Contact us to book an appointment today so that you can see and feel the difference in your body and get back to doing all the things you love!

As an active individual, staying healthy and injury-free is important to you. You make time for your workouts and training because it helps you focus, spend time with yourself, and work toward your goals.

Brady Hoffmann DPT, ATC

Owner and Founder of UpSlope PT

We Help Athletes and Active Adults Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active And Get Back To What They Love To Do.