Ankle Pain – 12 Common Causes & Home Treatment

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Ankle pain can have multiple causes and each case is very different.

However, there are some tricks that can relieve pain and help you regain some mobility.

And it may not be worth rushing painkillers to put an end to discomfort.

Don’t discount the potential side effects of anti-inflammatory substances, especially when taken long-term.

Here’s why in this article you’ll find the most common causes of ankle pain and some natural ways to fight the pain effectively.

Inversion ankle sprain

The most common cause is undoubtedly sprained by twisting the foot inward, also known as inversion sprain.

It very often affects athletes by targeting certain activities such as basketball, football, etc.

It looks like a tear in the ligaments surrounding the ankle bone and triggers pain.

It is also amplified by the stretching of the tendons and muscles attached to the bone, which can even tear when the foot twists.

The inversion sprain represents 90% of cases, it is the most frequent.

ankle sprain treatment

Eversion ankle sprain

Eversion sprain occurs when the foot turns sharply outward and forces the joint.

It most often results in a fracture of the medial malleolus and more internal pain than an inversion sprain.

If by chance, the fracture is avoided, this trauma leads to a sprain of the ankle with rupture of the ligaments of the internal face.

Eversion is less common than inversion but is recurrent in some sports subject to landing after a jump.

Ankle instability

Someone who chain sprains, whether inversion or eversion and whatever the cause, weakens the ligaments and tendons.

As a result, ankle support is no longer assured, the joints no longer position normally, and this cause foot slippage and chronic instability.

The risk of new sprains is then increased.

Friction between the joints appears and causes intense pain.

Ankle pain that goes up into the calf

Pain in the back of the ankle may be related to the Achilles tendon.

Its most common cause is Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon.

The calf muscles attach directly to the heel and repetitive stretching causes pain in the tendon due to inflammation.

In some cases, the tendon may even thin and tendinitis becomes chronic.

Ankle osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis very often develops after multiple ankle injuries or more commonly in overweight people who put significant pressure on their joints.

It is also common in athletes who put a lot of strain on their feet and legs.

The cartilage of the joint wears out prematurely and osteoarthritis sets in.

Ankle pain no swelling

Pains triggered by flat feet are very common due to the very position of the bones.

They most commonly cause arch tenderness or pain in the back of the ankle joint.

These pains often affect overweight people, manifesting preferably in the event of prolonged standing or during walking.

Ankle pain and swelling

When you are standing for long periods of time, when you have accumulated sprains, if your blood circulation is not optimal, you may suffer pain in the ankles caused by inflammation of the joints.

It usually causes swelling, and the exerted pressure triggers constant pain.

Gout Attack

Increased uric acid in the body can trigger acute ankle pain without any swelling or bruising.

You can learn more via our article on gout and its consequences.

Localized ankle pain

1- The pain in the back of the ankle

Most of the time, this pain is caused more in the heel than in the ankle and is related to the Achilles tendon.

There are two types of Achilles tendonitis:

  • non-insertional tendonitis

In non-insertional tendonitis, the pain is localized in the middle of the Achilles tendon.

  • insertional tendonitis

This tendonitis results in localized pain in the heel.


In both cases, the treatment is physiotherapy with a very random success rate for insertional tendonitis.

Wearing wedge heel cups reduces tension on the Achilles tendon by raising the heel.

Steroid injections and anesthetics can be considered locally in combination with the wearing of heel pads.

Surgery is the last resort.


2- Osteoarthritis of the ankle

The specificity of osteoarthritis is that it causes diffuse ankle pain depending on the affected areas which is accentuated when the ground is uneven.

It is rather ankylosis, the articulation is slowly immobilized by the erosion of the cartilage.

Sufferers complain of increased pain in the morning or waking up at night and have very stiff joints.

Cartilage wear leads to the exposure of rough bone which eventually erodes what remains of cartilage.

This phenomenon causes crackling, pain, inflammation, and reduced movement.

Treatment is usually injections and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Surgery is a last resort, often for joint replacement.


3- Toe pain

Do you feel toe pain that radiates to the outer side and back of the ankle through the arch of the foot?

This is a posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.

The role of the tibial tendon is to support the arch of the foot, and for some reason, it no longer performs this function.

It is at first tendinitis that precedes degeneration of the tendon by micro-tears.

These symptoms usually affect only one foot and often affect people with flat feet.

Treatment is essentially the wearing of an orthotic to support and relieve the arch of the foot.

Surgery may be considered to change the shape of the foot by reconstructing the arch.


4- Little toe pain

Pain in the little finger radiating to the outer side of the foot indicates that the peroneal tendons that lie on the outside of the ankle just behind the bone are responsible.

It often occurs after a sprain but can also occur when the shape of the foot shows an inward-pointing heel.

The pain is worse when rolling the foot but is relieved by eversion of the foot, plantar side outward.

First-line treatment for this condition is physiotherapy with the aim of limiting tendon slippage and strengthening the outer side of the ankle to stop sprains.

Steroids and anesthetic injections may also be considered.

Surgery is a last resort when nothing has worked.


5- Ankle to knee pain

The anterior impingement syndrome is a condition that results in pain in the front of the ankle.

It is usually due to a bony growth or a scar following trauma.

The pain worsens during dorsiflexion when the tip of the foot is extended towards the ankle and radiates towards the knee.

It very frequently affects athletes and women.

Treatment can be administered via injections of steroids and anesthetics around the growth, but local surgery is often preferred to remove it.

ankle pain relief


The treatment of ankle pain

Physiotherapy can relieve pain by massaging the ankle while relaxing the calf muscles that provide stability.

If the instability is accentuated, strengthening the ankle muscles is considered.

Orthotics and various support bands are also available to support the arch of the foot.

Acupuncture can also be a great option as it excels in managing pain and inflammation by stimulating blood circulation locally.

It is particularly recommended if you suffer from chronic ankle pain.

Ankle brace

Depending on the location of your pain, you can choose a suitable orthosis to relieve you.

Note all the same that it is more prudent to consult a specialist to determine your condition and choose accordingly.


  • Ankle brace for sprain

Adopting an ankle brace is an excellent choice to limit chronic tension, and protect tendons and muscles.

It is also very suitable for arthritis pain while reducing plantar flexion and protecting against eversion or inversion of the ankle.

This brace for ankle sprained (#ad) is made from a very elastic and very thin breathable fabric, which allows you to wear it for long periods of time without any discomfort.


  • Stabilize Ankle

Choosing a stabilizing splint is ideal for immobilizing the ankle and thus reducing pain.

This Donjoy ankle brace (#ad), stabilizing with lateral reinforcements in the form of ankle strapping is an option to be preferred.


  • Drop foot brace

Wearing a drop foot support brace like this (#ad) can help you regain some mobility while relieving your pain.

This orthosis is very suitable if you are looking for real ankle and foot stability to improve mobility during your daily activities.


  • Foot Orthosis

A compression ankle brace like this (#aff) can help you if you suffer from osteoarthritis of the ankle.

Made of extremely thin breathable fabric, you can wear it all day long under your socks.

Designed to relieve pain and counteract swelling, you can wear it while going about your daily activities and even keep it on at night.

amazon ankle brace

Ankle bandages

  • Sprained ankle bandage

The ankle wrap (#ad) can be a great option if you suffer from a sprain, tendonitis with medial or lateral malleolus pain, ligament damage, or osteoarthritis pain.

Designed in a very elastic and comfortable breathable material, it allows you to adjust your ankle brace yourself according to the pain you feel.


  • Ankle brace sock

This ankle brace sleeve (#ad) allows you to stabilize the foot while enjoying a thin, breathable and comfortable material that can be worn throughout the day.

It is very suitable if you suffer repeated sprains to ensure constant prevention.

Ankle Pain Natural Treatment

  • Arnica

Arnica oil (#ad) is very suitable for ankle pain.

This perennial herb has the ability to reduce inflammation that causes pain.

It also helps to neutralize the swelling of the area.

Arnica is the recommended herb for sprained ankles.


  • Organic Silica

Silica is well known for its positive action on joint mobility.

It also has recognized anti-inflammatory properties that will help you reduce pain.

Available in tablet or liquid form, I recommend liquid organic silica (#ad) for better absorption.


  • French green clay

Green clay is a very powerful natural remedy.

Its application as a poultice brings immediate relief because the clay has anti-inflammatory properties.

As effective as an application of ice, the clay poultice benefits from prolonged duration of action.

Apply a layer of french green clay (#ad) to your ankle, cover with plastic wrap and leave the poultice to work for at least 30 minutes and your pain will lessen .


  • Aloe Vera

Pure aloe vera (#ad) is very indicated in the treatment of many pains.

As part of ankle damage, its anti-inflammatory effects can significantly reduce throbbing.


  • Turmeric

Curcumin is a treatment of choice for a sore ankle.

The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin turmeric (#ad) are very powerful, to the point that it is very suitable for relieving osteoarthritis pain while reducing joint stiffness.

Curcumin has also been shown to improve joint function and prevent an unfavorable progression of osteoarthritis.

sore ankle after running

Essential Oil Ankle Pain

  • Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen essential oil (#ad) is great for treating pain from a sprained or strained ankle.

To benefit from its unique anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, massage the affected area with a few drops of wintergreen oil diluted in olive oil or arnica oil for maximum efficiency.


  • Helicrysum Oil

Italian helichrysum essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-hematoma, circulatory, and regenerating properties essential for relieving ankle trauma.

Simply apply 3 drops of pure helichrysum oil (#ad) to the affected area as soon as possible, an application that you renew 30 minutes later then 5 times a day for 48 hours.

Relieve ankle pain

Stabbing ankle pain can be very disabling.

But when the pain is localized, it is possible to relieve it by natural means while wearing a brace or a suitable bandage.

The main thing here is to treat the pain gently while avoiding any new risk of sprain or any aggravation of the initial symptoms.

Caring for an ankle requires patience and resignation as well as deep treatment to consolidate it.

Remember to consult your doctor if the pain persists a little too long.

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Natural health is paramount to me, natural remedies have always been part of my life. Whatever the problem, I make sure to find natural solutions that can often be associated with traditional medicine. Everything I write here allows me to share them with you.

The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment.
Keep in mind that you should contact your doctor or any qualified healthcare professional to determine if you can add a supplement to your treatment or change your diet.

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