My Ankle Hurts
We have all experienced ankle pain in our lives, it is not something uncommon and tends to happen to everyone. The pain usually fades away quickly in milder cases and there is no need to think about it further. However, these instances are due to obvious reasons, there is no question of “How did this ankle pain originate?” when your ankle pain has an obvious reason. Perhaps you fell on it weirdly, you twisted it while walking, or you fell and sprained it. These are all clear-cut reasons for why you might feel pain in your ankle or ankles.
What Is Ankle Pain?
Ankle pain can oftentimes be due to twisting your ankle or ankle sprains. More than 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle to be stretched or torn. If not properly treated, ankle sprains could develop into long-term problems. Could there be other reasons for you to feel pain in your ankle, without you directly triggering an ankle sprain? I’m talking about feeling this ankle pain while you are enjoying a walk around your neighborhood, walking in the grocery store or even walking around the house.
Why Do I Feel Ankle Pain While Walking?
There are many MANY reasons why you can experience ankle pain while walking. This is due to muscles that travel from the leg, through the ankle and into your foot. In addition, you have ligaments that are meant to support your joints (including your ankle joint) when you move. The most important signs to focus on include pain while wearing specific shoes, discomfort when walking on a certain surface and pain in a specific location of the ankle. You may be wondering how paying attention to this can help you get to the root of your ankle pain. It’s simple, when we know what triggers the pain then we know how we can fix the pain.
If you experience pain when you are wearing a specific type of shoe then you know that you just need to change your shoe. When it comes to shoes, it can be as simple as a trip to the mall to get a shoe that feels better. Other times it will require a bit more help from a podiatrist to measure you for your perfect shoe or inserts to put in your shoes known as orthotics. Different shoes and/or orthotics also can help if you feel pain on certain surfaces by offering more support in the areas that are touching the ground. If there is pain in a specific location of the ankle, it can help a podiatrist get a better idea of why this pain is happening. There are of course many ways to treat ankle pain depending on the severity of it.
Most Common Reasons that Cause Ankle Pain in Certain Locations.
Anterior (Front of the ankle): Oftentimes if you are walking on uneven surfaces, inclines, declines and you do not have proper arch support in your shoes, you may begin developing shin splints which can start in the front of the ankle and travel up the leg.
Posterior (Behind the ankle): When the Achilles tendon is tight or overused, it can cause swelling which will cause pain behind the ankle, especially if you do not have the appropriate heel support on your shoes.
Medial (Inner ankle): If you are wearing non-supportive shoes and you have “flat feet”, It can put stress on the tendon inside the ankle that travels from your leg to your foot. This will cause pain and tenderness along that tendon.
Lateral (Outer ankle): If the bottom of your shoe is worn out or you are walking on an uneven surface (sand, pebbles), you can develop ankle pain as your ligaments stress to support your ankle
The Conditions that May Cause Ankle Pain Walking
Osteoarthritis- If you are older or overweight, you may be more prone to osteoarthritis. Which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints.
Peripheral Neuropathy- If you have damage to your nerve then when you are walking it can cause it to be painful. Nerve damage can be due to several reasons but the pain can manifest into the ankle. This is also known as diabetic neuropathy, which as the name suggests, is something that usually happens to diabetics.