Ankle Pain, No Injury – What Causes It?

If you are experiencing ankle pain and no injury occurred you were aware of, you should have your condition evaluated by a foot and ankle doctor. You need a proper diagnosis to determine what is causing the ankle pain and the best method for treating it.

Various Conditions Cause Ankle Pain

A number of conditions can cause chronic ankle pain. They range from various forms of arthritis to tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Arthritis Ankle Pain

The types of arthritis causing ankle pain include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis, which is the most common. Acute gout, or gouty arthritis, is also a cause of ankle pain.

If you suffer with ankle pain, stiffness, and swelling, and those symptoms seem to improve with use of your ankle, only to return after inactivity, arthritis may be the cause. While there is no cure for arthritis, treatment options are available.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome  of the hand and wrist, tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression neuropathy, occurring as a result of too much pressure on the posterior tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel, a narrow space on the inner side of the ankle and in the foot.  When the nerve becomes pinched, inflammation and pain develops. Without proper treatment, permanent nerve damage can occur.

If you have flat feet or a medical condition causing swelling in your feet and ankles, tarsal tunnel syndrome could very well be the cause of your ankle pain. Injury, arthritis, obesity, a bone spur, and overuse of the ankle are among other causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Achilles Tendonitis

Also associated with overuse, Achilles tendonitis is a very common cause of ankle pain. Understanding what the condition is and where it occurs is simple once you know tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon, and the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone.

If you suddenly increased your workout or duration of running, you’ve jumped up and down playing basketball or volleyball, or you were running on concrete and your shoes do not provide proper support, your Achilles tendon may be inflamed. The tendon may be swollen and feel painful to the touch.

Applying ice to the tendon and reducing the activity can help ease the pain. If it continues or is extreme, consult a foot specialist.

Ankle Pain Diagnosis & Treatment

While injury is most often the cause of ankle pain, you can see there are various possible causes of ankle pain when no injury has recently occurred.  Rather than suffering with the pain, worrying about what is causing it, and risking further damage, make an appointment with one of the Achilles foot and ankle doctors. You will receive a proper diagnosis in addition to a proven treatment plan to alleviate the painful condition.


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