When Ankle Pain Keeps You Down
Imagine how hard it would be to walk if your foot could not move up or down or twist from side to side. Your ankle joint is what makes these movements possible. It is a complex system of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves that connect your feet to your leg. All of its parts work together to help you move, but when you have ankle pain, it is hard to even stand or walk, much less run or jump. Ankle problems can severely limit your activities and alter your lifestyle.
Why Your Ankle Hurts
Achilles Tendinitis– This overuse injury involves inflammation in the tendon at the back of your ankle. During activities like running, jumping, or playing sports, you can stress, stretch, or tear the tendon, which causes it to swell and become painful.
Achilles Tendon Rupture– When the tendon is stretched or has small tears, any impact can tear it completely. You may hear a pop or snap when it happens and will be unable to stand on your toes or push off with any power. You may also have a lot of pain.
Sprain– With this injury, the ligaments holding the ankle bones in place are pulled or twisted too far. They will stretch, weaken, and the ankle will become unstable. Sprains can vary with the amount of pain and instability you have. However, anyone with this condition will need rest to heal properly and prevent chronic problems.
Stress Fracture– This is another overuse injury. Repeated trauma from running and other activities can weaken your muscles and tendons. When they can’t properly absorb the stress, the pressure is transferred to the bone and tiny cracks begin to appear in the bone tissue. These breaks can cause swelling, bruising, and pain. More serious breaks can also occur from impact during an activity or an accident.
Arthritis– There are several forms of this condition: osteoarthritis—disintegration from years of wear and tear on your joint, rheumatoid arthritis—an autoimmune disease that attacks the cartilage, or reactive arthritis—joint pain resulting from an infection in another part of your body. All forms involve swelling and pain in your joints that make it difficult to do normal activities.
Don’t Ignore Ankle Pain
Pain in your ankles signals that something is wrong. For all of the conditions listed above, it is important to seek proper medical attention. Ignoring a problem or hoping it will heal on its own could land you with more issues down the road. Untreated Achilles problems could lead to a weakened tendon, which is prone to more severe injuries later. Sprains that don’t heal could leave you with chronic ankle instability. Stress fractures can weaken your bones and make a full break more likely. Some forms of arthritis can develop into severely disabling conditions that limit your quality of life.
At the first sign of ankle problems, contact The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sammamish, WA. We serve a large area, including Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland, Carnation Snoqualmie, North Bend, Duvall, Fall City, and Bellevue. Call (425) 868-3338 today or request an appointment on our website. Dr. Howard Schaengold has the expertise to diagnose and treat your ankle pain and get you on track to enjoying life again!