If you sprain your ankle or fall off a ladder and land on your foot, it’s pretty easy to recognize what’s causing your pain. You may not know if it’s a break or a sprain specifically, but it shouldn’t be all that hard to identify based on the cause and your symptoms. However, what if your ankle pain develops and there’s no clear reason as to why you might be dealing with pain? In today’s blog, we explain why you might be dealing with ankle pain in the absence of a clear injury.
Ankle Pain Without Clear Injury
Without clear trauma or an obvious indication as to why you’re in pain, it can be difficult to figure out what you’re dealing with and how to best treat it. A foot and ankle specialist can help pinpoint your cause of pain, but here’s a look at some of the reasons why you may be dealing with ankle pain without a clear source of injury:
Arthritis – Arthritis is one of the most common forms of ankle pain without the presence of clear and obvious trauma. Arthritis can also develop in a few different forms. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which a person’s immune system ends up accidentally damaging certain joints, and the ankle joint can be a common target. This can lead to pain, stiffness and swelling in your ankles. There’s also osteoarthritis, which is caused by the gradual degeneration of cartilage that helps to facilitate comfortable joint movement. Pain and stiffness in the ankle joint are common indicators of ankle arthritis.
Gout – Gout is a condition that can affect your foot and ankle. It is typically brought on by an unhealthy diet that leads to the onset of uric acid buildup in the joints. This acid can crystallize and and then cause soft tissue to inflame when movement occurs. Eating a healthier diet and managing your weight can oftentimes help with gout-related ankle pain.
Bursitis – Inside your ankle are two fluid-filled sacs that help to cushion the area and facilitate movement of certain soft tissues. If these sacs become inflamed, oftentimes from things like overuse or wearing the wrong shoes, ankle swelling, stiffness and pain can develop. Rest and physical therapy are great treatment options for ankle bursitis.
Infection – An infection can lead to problems in different areas of your body, including the ankle. If you recently had foot or ankle surgery or you have an open wound in the area that could provide an opening for bacteria to enter the area, there’s a chance your ankle pain is caused by the presence of an infection. Your care provider can set you up with antibiotics that can help clear up an infection.
Scleroderma – Sclerderma is the name of a group of conditions that can result in the thickening of connective tissues and skin. When this happens in the ankle region, it can also lead to stiffness and pain. Treatment often involves medications, physical therapy or surgery.
This is far from a full list, but it does include some of the most common causes of non-traumatic ankle pain. For help figuring out exactly what’s going on in your ankle, or to get started with a treatment plan, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today.