Ankle Pain Relief: A Guide to Treating and Managing Ankle Pain


Any type of pain or discomfort that affects the ankle's various parts is referred to as ankle pain. With at-home remedies like rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers, ankle pain gets better. You can strengthen your muscles and avoid more injuries with the use of a physical therapy programme. Providers use injections, surgery, splits, and braces to treat more severe pain.

Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers frequently help with ankle pain. Medical professionals can treat arthritis and injuries. Conditions are frequently treatable without surgery. Surgery is necessary if the injury is serious, such as a shattered ankle bone, or if nonsurgical treatment is ineffective for your ankle pain. A physical therapy (PT) programme might aid in your recovery if you have undergone surgery or sustained an ankle injury. The muscles that support your feet and ankles are strengthened through PT. Both future injuries and discomfort can be avoided with the therapy.


Numerous traumas and illnesses can cause ankle pain. The following are some of the most typical injuries that result in ankle pain:

Bursitis: Bursae, which are lubricant-filled sacs, are cushions that your bones travel over. Bursitis forms when these sacs become irritated and inflamed.

Trauma or accidents can cause bone fractures (fracture). Mild to severe ankle fractures might occur. A broken ankle can affect any bone in the ankle joint. An ankle break results in pain and swelling.

Ankle sprains: Ankle sprains are a common source of pain. Ligaments can sprain or tear, resulting in an ankle injury. An ankle can get sprained or twisted if it rolls violently out of place.

Tendonitis: Tendonitis is a soft-tissue injury characterized by irritated, inflamed tendons. Tendons link bones and muscles. A tendon may occasionally tear (such as an Achilles tendon rupture). A torn tendon may require surgery to be repaired.

Ankle discomfort can be caused by a wide variety of illnesses, syndromes, and circumstances. These consist of:

Arthritis: Ankle arthritis can make the ankle joint painful and stiff. Arthritis happens when the cartilage, which cushions the bones in joints, separates. Bones rub against one another due to the collapse. Arthritis can be brought on by accidents and overuse, and older adults are more likely to develop it. 

Flatfoot: Ankle and foot pain and edoema might result from a very low arch or no arch at all. 

Gout: A kind of arthritis, gout is brought on by an accumulation of uric acid in various parts of the body. Urinary excretion of uric acid is the norm. Insufficient uric acid causes crystals to form, which gather in the joints. Ankle gout can be excruciatingly painful.

Infection: Cellulitis is one type of infection that can enlarge and hurt the ankle joint. 

How to check if you have Ankle Pain?

Ankle injuries and pain are fairly frequent. Ankle discomfort is more likely to develop if you:

  • Are over the age of 65.
  • Are overweight or obese.
  • Play sports or other things that force you to hop, wobble, or shift directions suddenly.

Your doctor will look at your foot and ankle. Doctors look for bruises, discomfort, and swelling. Testing is based on the pain's location and whether you've lately been hurt. An imaging test, such as an X-ray, CT, or MRI scan, may be prescribed by your doctor. These examinations produce images of the bones and soft tissues that your doctor can use to look for damage.

You could need a biopsy if your doctor suspects you have an infection. Your healthcare professional takes a tissue sample and sends it to a lab to be tested for microorganisms.

Relieving Symptoms

The majority of ankle discomfort is relieved with rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers. Follow the advice given by your doctor when using at-home remedies for ankle pain. Your doctor could advise using the RICE technique (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Consult your provider if the pain is severe or your ankle continues to hurt after a few days of at-home care.

These are the most typical at-home remedies for ankle pain:

Rest: You should avoid standing for a while if you have recently sustained an injury like a sprain. Find out from your doctor how long you should sleep. To avoid putting pressure on your ankle, you can get around with the use of crutches or a walking boot.

Ice: For 15 to 20 minutes, apply ice or a cold compress to the area to minimise swelling.

Compression: To reduce swelling, talk to your doctor about placing an elastic bandage around your ankle. Avoid wrapping it too tightly.

Elevation: Swelling is reduced by resting with your ankle raised over your heart. Attempting to sleep at night with your foot elevated is another option.


Ankle pain might not always be avoidable. But by keeping yourself healthy, you can preserve the strength of your bones, ligaments, and tendons. Please take the following steps to prevent ankle injuries:

  • Keeping a healthy weight : Your joints, notably your ankles, are put under excessive pressure when you carry extra weight.
  • Strengthen additional muscles: By maintaining the strength of additional muscles, you will support your ankles and lower your chance of injury.
  • If you get pain, stop immediately. Take a rest if a motion or activity is bothersome. See your doctor if the pain doesn't go away.
  • Warm up effectively: Stretch before working out. Soft tissues (such as ligaments and tendons) and muscles are less susceptible to injury when they are warm.


The majority of ankle injuries are treated at home. For more severe wounds, surgery may be required. The type of treatment depends on the cause of the ankle discomfort. The following are typical remedies for ankle pain:

Splints and braces: An ankle brace may help to stabilize your ankle and decrease pain. For some activities, braces work better. 

Joint aspiration: During this procedure, your doctor uses a needle to aspirate extra fluid from the joint. Aspirations of the joints reduce discomfort and edema.

Medication: A variety of drugs can lessen swelling and ease ankle discomfort. Pain and swelling can be considerably reduced by medications for gout and arthritis.

Inserts for your shoes that provide orthotics are known as orthotics. You may purchase them from the shop or your service provider.

Through physical therapy (PT), you can increase your flexibility and fortify the muscles that support your ankle. Your physical therapist will develop a personalised physical therapy plan for you, including stretches and exercises. 

Steroid injections: Your doctor administers anti-inflammatory drugs straight into your joint using a needle. Injections of cortisone lessen pain and inflammation.

Surgery can fix torn ligaments or tendons using a variety of ankle surgery techniques. Some solutions treat flat feet or alleviate arthritic discomfort. Surgery to replace the ankle joint can reduce discomfort and improve mobility.

Complications of Ankle Pain

Call your medical professional if:

  • After receiving at-home care for two to three days, ankle discomfort is severe or doesn't go away.
  • Swelling and pain appear out of nowhere.
  • If you have a fever or the affected area is red or warm to the touch, this could indicate an infection.
  • Your ankle cannot support weight.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 6, 2023

Next review due: Mar 6, 2025

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