You're playing your favorite sport or taking a walk when suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your ankle. The pain may feel achy or sharp. It may occur only during weight-bearing activities, or it may hurt consistently at all times. Ankle pain should always be taken seriously, no matter how it presents. Here are four things you can do to heal sore ankles:
1. Visit a foot and ankle clinic.
You may have heard the advice "walk it off," but that approach isn't helpful when it comes to ankle injuries. Muscle soreness can be relieved with additional exercise, but joint injuries will only worsen with additional use. If you have ankle pain that persists for longer than a few days, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Podiatrists treat many patients with similar complaints. They're often more knowledgeable than general practice doctors when it comes to foot and ankle conditions.
2. Wear different shoes.
If your podiatrist determines that you don't have a fracture or sprain, they may suggest changing your footwear. Most people spend more time on their feet than they think. Wearing the wrong shoes can place pressure on your joints, which can lead to pain and injury. Allow your podiatrist to suggest a shoe. The best shoe for those with ankle injuries is usually one with sufficient padding. Extra cushioning can absorb the shock that occurs when you walk or run, which means your ankles won't be jostled by your various movements.
3. Perform targeted stretches.
Sometimes ankle injuries occur when tight tendons are suddenly strained. When your muscles are at rest, your tendons contract. Suddenly performing vigorous activity can cause injury if your muscles, ligaments, and joints aren't properly warmed up. Stretching your ankle throughout the day can relieve pain and prevent it from recurring. Your podiatrist may give you a list of exercises to do several times each day. One helpful exercise involves standing with your hands braced against a door with one leg extended behind you. Slowly and gradually flex your knee so your Achilles tendon has a chance to stretch.
4. Use any medical devices prescribed by your podiatrist.
If you've suffered a mild sprain, your podiatrist may prescribe some medical devices to help you recover. An ankle brace can hold your ankle immobile so you don't injure it further. Crutches will allow you to walk while keeping excess weight off your injured joint. Use all the medical aids your podiatrist recommends. Continue using them until you have fully recovered or your podiatrist gives you new instructions.
For more information, go online to sites like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com.