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Ankle Pain: When should you worry, and what can you do?

The ankle joint often gets injuries and pain because it carries your whole-body weight on one side during different activities. The relatively small joint is protected by a layer of cartilage that helps to avoid ankle sprains.

But even cartilage protects your joint; ankle sprains are inevitable as they are quite common. They can occur in people of all ages. They are not only age-related as proven by a study that they are more common in children.

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Types of ankle sprains 

The most common types of ankle injuries are:

Inversion sprains: It is a more common type and occurs due to the overstretching and tearing of the ankle’s lateral ligaments.

Eversion sprains: This type of ankle injury occurs due to damage of the inner ligaments of the ankle.

When should you worry about ankle pain? 

It depends upon the severity of the condition. Ankle injuries are divided into three grades that determine the severity of the condition and help you know when you are in real trouble.

Grade I ankle injury- It is not a condition to worry about because you won’t have any tearing of ligaments in this case. Only one or two ligaments suffer from minor strain, and this mild injury results in no disability. It doesn’t need a long time to recover.

Grade II ankle injury- It is a moderate ankle injury that may cause pain. In this case, partial tearing of ligaments occurs which causes discomfort. It takes more time to recover than a mild ankle injury.

Grade III ankle injury- It is a serious condition and requires immediate medical assistance. Swelling, instability, and pain occur in this condition. It results due to the complete tear of one or more ligaments and may take 3 months to heal completely.

What can you do for ankle pain? 

Prevention is a must in any case. If you don’t have ankle pain, then you can prevent ankle pain in the following ways:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight- Being overweight increases the chances of ankle injury due to more strain on the ankle joint.
  • Keep your muscles strong- Strong ankle muscles strengthen your ankle joints and reduce the risk for ankle sprains.
  • Reduce movements if you feel pain- When you feel pain in your ankle, you can prevent the condition from becoming worse by reducing movements.
  • Warm-up before a workout- Warm-up before a workout protects muscles and soft tissues from damage due to sudden stretching. This will reduce the chances of an ankle injury.

In case if you have developed ankle sprains, then you can cure ankle pain in the following ways:

  • Rest and don’t move unnecessarily.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress on your ankle to reduce inflammation.
  • Use medications as prescribed by the healthcare professional.
  • Avoid shoes that can increase your pain.