A little bit about Ankle Pain When Walking:
Ankle pain when walking is not something that happens only to the elderly or those with weak bones. It can happen to anyone, but it’s more common among young people. There are many reasons why someone might develop ankle pain while walking, but most commonly they have sprained ankles (sprains are injuries caused by excessive force applied to a joint).
What causes ankle pain when walking?
The main cause of ankle pain when walking is overuse. People tend to walk around in a way that causes their feet to get tired quickly. They do this by pushing off from one foot too much, which leads to a fall. The problem with this method is that if the person falls down hard enough, they will hurt themselves severely because their ligaments and tendons are stretched out and broken.
Another reason for developing ankle pain when walking is simply due to wearing shoes that are too tight. If your shoe fits well, then there is nothing wrong with it. However, if it doesn’t fit properly, then you need to take some time to adjust it so that it fits better. If you use walking shoes or other types of athletic shoes that are too tight on a regular basis, then you may find that you develop ankle pain when walking because the shoes themselves are cutting off your blood supply.
The last cause for developing ankle pain when walking is due to improper footwear. If you’re using the wrong type of shoes for a particular surface, then you’re going to have more issues with your feet and ankles than you will if you’re wearing proper shoes. Walking around in high heels or other types of shoes that don’t have good support can cause ankle pain when walking because the feet are not used to being in a position that requires them to be supported in such a way.
How to fix ankle pain when walking?
If you find that you experience ankle pain when walking, then you should take time to adjust your walking stride. You should also make sure that your walking shoes fit well and that they offer good support. Stretching before you begin to walk might be a good idea if you have tight muscles, while icing any injuries after you walk may help them to heal faster. Also, walking on softer surfaces (like grass) can reduce the impact on your feet and ankles, which may prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
What are the symptoms of ankle pain when walking?
There are many different symptoms that can occur when you have ankle pain when walking, and most of them are directly related to the types of movements that your foot is making when you place pressure on it. The two most common types of symptoms are sharp pains and throbbing pains. The sharp pains tend to happen suddenly, usually while you’re putting your weight on your foot. The throbbing pains, on the other hand, tend to happen after you’ve already been walking for a while.
You may also experience ankle pain when walking due to swelling in the area. This swelling can be caused by a direct blow to the area, or it may simply be caused by an overuse injury. If you find that your ankle is swollen after a long walk, then you should rest it and ice the area to reduce the swelling as quickly as you can.
The last common symptom of ankle pain when walking is tingling or numbness in the foot and toes. Numbness is almost always a sign of a more serious injury, so if you experience this symptom you need to either see a doctor or go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
What are the causes of ankle pain when walking?
There are many different reasons for developing ankle pain when walking. The two most common reasons are either an overuse injury or a direct blow to the foot or ankle.
Overuse injuries occur due to walking on hard or uneven surfaces, or simply by walking too much. These types of injuries usually occur slowly and often don’t have any initial symptoms, which is why people ignore them until it’s too late and they find that they can’t walk without experiencing a great deal of pain.
Direct blows are usually the result of some sort of accident, such as a fall. While these sorts of injuries are often more serious than overuse injuries, they are also easier to spot and take care of before they cause lasting damage.
How can you prevent ankle pain when walking?
The best way to prevent ankle pain when walking is to pay attention to how your feet feel while you’re walking on them. If your feet start to feel tender or sore in a certain area, stop walking and allow the area to rest. You can soak it in a warm bath to help relax the muscles, or apply an ice pack if you think you may have bruised it. If the pain doesn’t seem to go away, or it begins to feel worse even after rest, then you may want to see a doctor as you may have seriously injured the area and need medical attention.
Another way to prevent ankle pain when walking is to wear the proper footwear. This may seem like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised at how many people go for looks instead of functionality. When shopping for shoes, make sure that they have good arch support and plenty of room for your toes. High heels are fine for special occasions, but don’t make them a daily wear.
Wear boots with a flat heel or sneakers whenever possible.
You can also prevent ankle pain when walking by doing a routine ankle exercise a couple times a day. Simply point your toes against resistance (your shoe or a towel wrapped around your foot works), and then point your toes away from you against resistance. This will strengthen the muscles around your ankle to help prevent injuries.
Other exercises to relieve pain in or prevent ankle pain when walking include:
Strengthening your ankles by using a towel to wrap your foot and then gently, but firmly, pull your big toe back while keeping the rest of your toes pointed forward. Do this several times in both directions. Do not do this exercise if it causes any pain.
Adding cushioning under the ball of your foot can also help. You can use a rubber doorstop or other pieces of sports equipment for this purpose.
How can you get rid of ankle pain when walking?
Preventing pain in your ankle while walking is always the best way to go, but there are also a few things you can do to get rid of the pain if you’ve already injured yourself. Rest is very important. The more you stress that area, the longer it’s going to take to heal. Ice can help reduce swelling and take the pain away. Again, you can either use a commercial product such as an ice pack, or simply wrap some ice in a cloth and hold it to the injured area. If you don’t have any ice, you can also use a cold pack like corn or peas wrapped in a cloth and placed in the freezer. Do not place the ice directly against your skin, as this could cause damage.
Heating the area can also help, but should not be applied right after you’ve iced, as your skin will be very sensitive and could burn. A heating pad or warm cloth can be used, but don’t use them directly on your skin.
Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc.) can help relieve the pain as well. However, if you are taking any medication for your blood pressure, do not take ibuprofen as it can cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Aspirin should definitely not be taken with any injury as it can cause excessive bleeding and permanent kidney damage.
Instead, look for an acetaminophen product (Tylenol).
Natural remedies such as MSM and arnica can also be taken to relieve the pain and swelling.
Other tips to prevent or relieve pain in or around your ankle include:
Elevate your ankle on a couple of pillows when you’re resting.
Wear a walking boot or elastic wrap when you’re not walking to keep your ankle stabilized. This is especially important if you’ve rolled your ankle. While you’re wearing the boot or wrap, keep your foot and calf muscles stretched by pointing your toes and flexing your foot toward you as far as is comfortable. Gently massage the muscles if they start to cramp.
To prevent excessive swelling, do not put any weight on your injured foot for at least a week, and then limit the weight you put on it as you begin to walk again.
When you begin walking again, place more weight on the uninjured side. This helps to re-balance your body and take stress off of the injured area.
Apply ice or a cold pack to the ankle for 10 minutes every hour for the first two days to reduce swelling.
Useful products for treating or preventing pain in or around your ankle include:
Ace bandage or elastic wrap – To wrap the foot and ankle to keep it immobilized and also as a support when you begin putting weight on it again.
Cold pack – To apply ice to the injury.
Heating pad – To apply heat to the injury.
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc.) – To relieve pain and swelling.
Natural supplements such as MSM and arnica – Relieve pain and swelling.
Talus Ankle Support – To provide ankle stability and relieve pain while walking.
When you’re feeling well enough to walk around, there are also a few things you can do to prevent re-injury to your ankle:
Wear shoes with a sturdy sole that provides good arch and heel support.
Wear athletic shoes, not boots or sandals, when playing sports or working out at the gym.
Always stretch before doing any physical activity.
Strengthen the muscles in your feet, ankles, and calves by working them out. This helps to support your ankles and prevent injury.
If you’re prone to rolling your foot inward (called overpronation), buy a shoe that provides extra support in the middle of the sole.
If you’re prone to rolling your foot outward (called supination), buy a shoe that provides extra support across the outer edge of the sole.
Include a stretching and strengthening exercise routine for your feet, ankles, and calves as part of your daily exercise program.
When walking on uneven or unstable ground, walk slowly and pay attention to what you’re doing so you don’t trip or stumble.
Athletes can further prevent ankle injuries by learning and practicing the proper techniques for their sports.
If you start to feel twinges of pain in or around your ankle when doing an activity, you should stop immediately and rest. If the pain continues, you should see a doctor. Continuing to exercise or do the activity that is causing the pain can make the injury worse and may cause long-term problems.
When to See the Doctor
In most cases, an ankle injury can be treated at home with RICE. However, you should see a doctor if:
The pain continues to be severe and is not getting better after one week.
You have a deep cut or puncture wound in your foot or ankle.
You broke or dislocated your ankle.
The ankle is so swollen that the skin was torn (this can happen in very large ankles).
You feel weakness or “giving way” in the ankle.
You can’t bear any weight on the ankle or foot.
You have numbness, tingling (paresthesia), or changes in skin color (such as white or blue) in the foot or toes.
You have severe or persistent pains that are not eased by the RICE procedure.
Sources & references used in this article:
Immobilization with removable walking brace for treatment of chronic foot and ankle pain by MG Crincoli, E Trepman – Foot & Ankle International, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com
Ankle–brachial index and mortality in a cohort of questionnaire recorded leg pain on walking by B Jönsson, T Skau – European journal of vascular and endovascular …, 2002 – Elsevier
Medial ankle pain after lateral ligament rupture by CN Van Dijk, PMM Bossuyt… – The Journal of bone …, 1996 – online.boneandjoint.org.uk
Excision of ununited fractures of the posterior process of the talus: a treatment for chronic posterior ankle pain by BL Veazey, JD Heckman, MJ Galindo… – … & ankle, 1992 – journals.sagepub.com