Runners, and athletes in general, are notoriously bad for failing to get medical help for ankle pain treatment. Often, they will simply take off a day or two, switch an outdoor run for time on the treadmill or the elliptical, or perhaps run for a shorter distance or at a less demanding pace.
The reality is that not all ankle pain is a just a mild case of overuse, and not getting the right ankle pain treatment can often prolong the pain and even cause significant and very serious damage to the joint.
There can be many different causes of ankle pain for an athlete or a runner. Strains and sprains are very common, but if they are happening on a regular basis, or even a few times, it may indicate a problem with the stability of the ankle joint.
In this situation, ankle pain treatment will typically include rest and physical therapy. In cases of significant ankle instability, braces or compression wraps may be used to allow the ankle to heal without continually stretching and straining the ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
When pain is at the back of heel and at the back of the ankle, the Achilles tendon may be inflamed, or there may be an actual tear of the tendon. Seeing a podiatrist and getting the right ankle pain treatment will be essential to prevent further injury and damage.
In some cases, fractures can occur in the bones that make up the ankle. In this case, ankle pain treatment will be more involved, as with any broken bone or damaged joint. Immobilization may be all that is required for some, while other fractures may require surgery to reposition the bones and fix them in place using screws, plates or other specialized techniques.
The Rest Factor
Even when ankle pain treatment just involves rest, physical therapy, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs, such as aspirin) and ice to control the pain and swelling, runners and athletes often return to activities too quickly.
Most doctors will recommend at least 4 weeks of ankle pain treatment when there is soft tissue damage, including strains, sprains, and twists. During this time, there will be specific strengthening exercises to help stabilize the ankle and prevent injury.
Then, after the resting period is completed, the intensity level of running or workouts will need to increase gradually. Completing your ankle pain treatment before returning to exercise is essential for your long-term joint health.
At Suburban Orthopaedics, we have sports medicine doctors to help diagnose ankle problems and assist with ankle pain treatment specific to your needs. To see more, go to www.suburbanortho.com.