The ankle joint supports the weight of the body and allows you to move. It is comprised of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and when it’s hurt or sore, it makes it difficult to stand or walk.
So, how do you find joint pain relief in the ankle?
Finding joint pain relief for the ankle will be determined by exactly what is causing the pain in the ankle.
The first thing you will need to do is see your doctor to determine exactly what is wrong with the ankle.
Causes of ankle pain
The causes of ankle pain vary. It can come from a sprain or strain, a break, arthritis, gout, or other issues that cause inflammation.
A sprain or strain can happen during walking or sports when the ankle is twisted or turned.
A break can be a complete break or fracture. A stress fracture can be caused by weight if the person is overweight and has bone loss due to lack of calcium. This is especially true of older people who have lost bone due to aging.
Arthritis, bursitis, and gout all cause inflammation.
Symptoms of ankle problems
Symptoms of ankle problems can be as varied as the causes of ankle pain.
The symptoms include
- Limited mobility
- Inability to bear weight
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your physician to determine what is causing the symptoms.
Relief for pain in the ankle
Relief for pain in the ankle joint can also come in a variety of forms. Two such forms are traditional and alternative medicines.
Traditional and alternative therapies include
- Anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs
- Pain-relieving pharmaceutical drugs
- Hot/cold packs
- Crutch or cane use
- Elevating the foot
- Physical therapy
- Soaking in warm Epsom salt water
- Natural anti-inflammatories
- Natural pain relievers
The main difference between natural and traditional (pharmaceutical use) is that many of the pharmaceuticals can be addictive.
You also need a prescription for those pharmaceutical drugs that natural remedies do not need.
Now let’s take a look at the natural therapies.
Hot and cold packs can help alleviate pain and swelling from sprain, strain, or arthritis.
10 minutes on and 2 hours off with ice followed by 20 minutes on and two hours off with heat.
Ice reduces swelling; heat relaxes muscles and promotes blood flow.
Do this while the foot is elevated.
At this point, you should stay off the foot as much as possible and use crutches or a cane when walking to help keep your full weight off the joint.
Wraps, splints and braces
A properly wrapped ace bandage will help keep swelling down and support the joint.
Splints and braces will help support the joint when standing or walking on it.
Soaking the foot and ankle in warm Epsom salt can reduce pain and inflammation. It can be repeated several times a day without side effects.
There are a number of supplements that will work to relieve pain and inflammation.
For pain and inflammation, use the following natural remedies after obtaining clearance from your doctor.
Glucosamine-this supplement may take time to work, but it can ease pain and inflammation.
Chondroitin-lab studies have shown that this supplement can suppress inflammatory pathways in the body.
Methylsulfonylmethane-studies show that this supplement, over 12 weeks, can lead to a significant reduction in both pain and physical disability.
Ginger Extract has analgesic effects to reduce the pain.
Turmeric contains curcumin which reduces inflammation in the joints by suppressing the cox-2 enzyme.
Collagen can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and other joint problems.
Andrographis has long been known as an immune booster, but recently has been shown to fight inflammation even for those with Rheumatoid arthritis.
Another natural relief option is Essential oils for sprained ankles. Some of the essential oils that work to reduce pain and inflammation are
- Nutmeg such as Meg Relief
Using natural remedies can reduce the number of drugs you need to take.
While traditional therapies work, they often have side effects that include upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, liver damage, heart damage, and other issues.
There is also the issue of drug interaction if you are taking other medications for high blood pressure, blood thinners, diabetes, and other conditions.
Pharmaceutical remedies include what is known as biological drugs which work like disease- modifying drugs to slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Drugs such as Enbrel and Humira are the two most widely known.
The side effects of these drugs include
- Increased risk of infection
- Potential to re-activate Hepatitis B in people with a history of Hepatitis B
- Allergic Reactions
- Sudden vision problems
- Cardiac reactions
- Lupus-like symptoms
There are other side effects to these medications as well.
If you want to avoid these side effects and complications, try natural remedies first. However, there are times that you will need to take traditional drugs as well.
There are several exercises to build strength in your ankles and to reduce stiffness and pain.
Speak to your doctor or a physical therapist about what exercises you should do for you particular ankle joint pain.
If you would like to do exercises to strengthen your ankles and reduce the chance of injury and inflammation, you can find exercises at these two links
9 exercises to strengthen your calves, ankles, and feet
5 exercise to strengthen your ankles
Oftentimes, the traditional and natural remedies can be combined for better results with less use of drugs that could be addictive or have serious side effects. Once you have your pain and stiffness under control, you may be able to reduce the traditional medication and use all-natural remedies.