Conservative Treatment Options For Ankle Pain

Ankle pain is very common and can be caused by injuries such as sprains and strains, arthritis, poor circulation, and standing on your feet for long periods of time. Before an effective treatment plan can be developed, your podiatrist will need to identify the cause of your pain. Here are some conservative treatment options to help manage your ankle pain.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

One of the most common conservative treatment options for ankle pain is taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. Drugs in the NSAIDs class include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium, all of which can be purchased without a prescription. Not only do NSAIDs help relieve ankle pain, but they also help reduce inflammation, which is often associated with arthritic conditions.

If over-the-counter NSAIDs are ineffective in managing your ankle pain, your podiatrist can write you a prescription for a higher dose. It is important to note that if you take other medications such as anticoagulant drugs, let your doctor know. Taking NSAIDs with prescription anticoagulants, also known as "blood thinners," can increase your risk for abnormal bleeding because both NSAIDs and anticoagulants can affect your platelets.

Physical Therapy

Another effective treatment option that podiatry surgeons often recommend to manage ankle pain is physical therapy. Not only can physical therapy help relieve pain and inflammation, but it also helps enhance blood flow and circulation to injured areas of the ankle, improve mobility, increase ankle flexibility, and promote a better range of motion. It is important to note that you may not notice an improvement in your symptoms after your initial physical therapy session.

Physical therapy is a gradual treatment process that often takes multiple sessions before complete relief is noticed. Depending upon the cause and severity of your ankle pain, your podiatrist may recommend participating in a physical therapy program for up to a few months. Your physical therapy program may include strength training exercises such as performing lateral leg lifts while wearing ankle weights. Your therapist may also recommend riding a stationary bicycle to manage your ankle pain to help promote circulation and improve flexibility.

If you experience ankle pain, make an appointment with your podiatrist. After a comprehensive physical examination which may include traditional x-rays and an ultrasound, your doctor will recommend an individualized treatment plan to suit your needs. Furthermore, if the above conservative treatment options are ineffective in resolving your symptoms, your podiatrist may want to further evaluate your condition to determine if you might be a candidate for ankle surgery. 

Reach out to a podiatrist near you to learn more.