Ankle pain can be very frustrating for those who experience it. It can be associated with swelling and stiffness and if there is no history of a traumatic injury can often be described as a dull ache that occurs upon weight bearing. If you have chronic ankle pain that isn’t improving and you haven’t had an incident that caused trauma here are 5 common causes of foot and ankle pain.
- Poor footwear
Footwear is very overlooked when it comes to foot and ankle pain, you would be surprised how much the right shoe can help and how much the wrong shoe can use pain! Everybody’s feet are a different shape meaning we all have a certain type of footwear that is better suited to our foot structure. Wearing footwear that is not right for you can cause ankle pain; try avoid wearing unsupportive shoes such as flip flops or sippers. If you are unsure whether your footwear is appropriate, seek advice from your podiatrist.
Instability at the ankle occurs if the ligaments, muscles and tendons are not strong enough to support your joints. When the joints are not supported they are under excessive stress and can cause pain. If you have a history of ankle injuries this can cause chronic instability at the area. A customised strengthening program can help reduce instability at the ankle.
Hypermobility is a condition where joints can move past a normal range of movement. Having excess movement in joints, particularly the ankle can mean soft tissue becomes overstretched and cause weakness in connective tissue. Stabilising techniques such as taping can help with hypermobility related pain. Taping techniques can also be used to help stabilise the area.
Doing too much physical activity with inadequate recovery places excess stress on the body without giving it a chance to heal. This repetitive regime can lead to overuse injuries and pain in the ankle. Similarly, if you stand or walk a lot for your job your soft tissues in the ankle may become fatigued and sore, particularly if they are weak. Try resting from activity to see if your ankle pain alleviates, if not consult a podiatrist or physiotherapist.
- Abnormal foot arch or biomechanics
People who have flat feet or high arches can sometimes have ankle pain due to the biomechanical changes in their feet. Not only does it change the way your arch looks, but it changes the way the muscles work and the stresses put on them. This, in turn, can change the way you walk and mobilise. A bio-analysis can help to establish whether or not your ankle pain is related to the arches in your feet and weather a custom orthotic could help reduce your ankle pain.
If you suffer from ankle pain or think one of the above issues relates to you, book in to see one of our Podiatrist or Physiotherapist for a consultation.