Pain Management

October 21, 2016

Muscles and Bones: The Makeup of Your Ankle Joint Pain


The human ankle joint is made of up an intricate combination of muscles, tendons, and bones. Ankle joint pain and loss of mobility can result when any of these become damaged or injured.

Ankle joint pain is a common complaint for many Arkansas residents, frequently requiring medical care to alleviate pain and speed up the healing process. The ankle joint must bear the weight of the body as well as the impact created by movement, work, and exercise. By knowing the makeup of the ankle joint and options available for ankle joint pain relief, you can help prevent further injuries.

Common Types of Ankle Joint Pain
The location of the ankle joint makes it a prime candidate for stress from both the weight of the human body and the impact of movement. This stress can manifest itself in many types of ankle pain symptoms, including chronic lateral ankle pain caused by an injury or inflammation and several types of arthritis, including psoriatic, gouty, rheumatoid, and ankylosing spondylitis.

The ankle joint is actually made up of three bones:

  • Tibia, the larger of the two lower leg bones
  • Fibula, the smaller of the two bones that make up the lower leg
  • Talus, a small bone that lies between the tibia, fibula, and heel bone, or calcaneus

In addition to these bones, the ankle joint also includes an intricate system of ligaments and tendons, all of which can become damaged or inflamed, contributing to your ankle joint pain. Injuries and joint health issues such as arthritis, gout, and other conditions can cause and prolong ankle joint pain.

Preventing Ankle Joint Pain
Some types of ankle pain can be prevented or lessened by making some simple changes:

  • Losing excess weightto reduce stress on the ankle joints
  • Replacing high-impact sports and activities such as tennis, soccer, and running with lower impact activities like swimming or biking
  • Improving posture while sitting, standing, and walking to ensure that the ankles are not being overly stressed
  • Avoiding rough terrain such as plowed ground, shifting soil or sand, bumpy cobblestone walkways, and concrete surfaces that are cracked and broken
  • Wearing stable footwear with excellent support for the arch of the foot instead of high heels, flats, and sandals that allow the ankle to shift into unnatural positions and create stress
  • Opting for supportive measures, such as elastic ankle braces, compression socks, and orthotics, to assist in reducing stress on the ankle

Ankle Pain Treatment Options
If making changes in your daily habits and footwear is not helpful in controlling or eliminating ankle joint pain and discomfort, appropriate medical care is the next logical step. When pain or discomfort are minor, treatment often involves some combination of rest, added support, and anti-inflammatory or pain medications. Physical therapy to strengthen the supportive muscle groups of the ankles, feet, and lower legs can also help with ankle pain in some cases.

However, if the symptoms are severe, persistent, or related to a specific injury to the tendons, ligaments, or bones, ankle joint pain relief may require orthopedic surgical repair to achieve lasting results. The advanced surgical techniques used today in orthopedic surgery allow patients to recover quickly and resume their normal activities without lasting discomfort.

If you suffer from ankle joint pain and want to know more about the options available for ankle pain treatment, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877) 918-7020for an appointment.

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