Ankle pain can make it difficult to carry out many of your physical tasks, such as walking down aisles while grocery shopping and taking your dog for a walk. While many people assume that all ankle pain stems from the same area, the pain can actually radiate from different parts of the ankle.
Many people experience ankle pain at one time or another, but not everyone feels it from the same exact spot. For instance, the medial part of your ankle refers to the inside of the joint. When you’re experiencing medial ankle pain, every step can cause an ache that makes you want to stay off your feet all day. But the good news is that there are a variety of treatment options that you can explore.
We’ll discuss the potential causes of ankle pain and the variety of treatment options that can help, such as physical therapy.
The basics of medial ankle pain
The medial side of your ankle consists of several ligaments on the inside of the joint. They work to support your ankle joint so that it’s stabilized and doesn’t roll inward. Medial ankle pain is usually the result of an injury or medical condition that affects those ligaments.
Pain in the medial area of your ankle is often described as a throbbing pain, which can be associated with other symptoms such as tingling, stiffness and swelling.
Potential causes of a medial ankle pain include:
- Ankle sprain — If you fall or land awkwardly on your feet after a jump, you can sprain the ligament by twisting or rolling your ankle.
- Stress fracture — If you put excessive or repetitive stress on your ankle bone, you can develop small cracks in the bone that cause ankle pain, swelling and bruising.
- Tendinitis — There’s a tendon called the posterior tibial tendon that runs along the medial side of your ankle. Trauma or overuse can cause tendinitis, which means that the tendon has become inflamed.
- Arthritis — Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can both cause ankle pain. Osteoarthritis causes the joint cartilage to break down, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack the joint lining.
6 treatments for medial ankle pain
Since your ankle supports your entire body while you stand, walk and exercise, it’s important to be proactive about your ankle pain. Not only do you want to alleviate the ache, but you also don’t want to risk it getting worse while trying to do your physical activities.
There are many treatment options for your ankle pain. Some are self-care options while others require the assistance of a health care professional.
Here are six treatment options for ankle pain:
- Ice — Applying an ice pack to your ankle should be one of the first courses of action when you start to experience the pain, especially if it’s caused by an injury. Apply it for 20 minutes at a time to decrease blood flow and numb the area.
- Medication — Ask your health care provider about taking pain relief medication for your medial ankle pain. For temporary relief, you can take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
- Injections — If the medial ankle pain is persistent or worsening, your health care provider might recommend an injection of corticosteroid. This steroid can help reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Supportive accessories — There are a couple of accessories that your provider may recommend to help reduce your ankle pain as well as decrease the risk of further injury. Ankle braces and shoe inserts can provide support and realignment.
- Exercises — A physical therapist will walk you through targeted exercises that will help decrease your ankle pain and restore your range of motion. The exercises will also improve your ankle muscles’ strength and flexibility to reduce the risk of future injury.
- Manual therapy — Another way that a physical therapist can treat your medial ankle pain is with manual therapy. They can use their hands for joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization to decrease pain, increase your range of motion and restore joint function.
Find effective and affordable care for medial ankle pain from an Alliance PTP partner
Physical therapy can be an effective and affordable way to care for your medial ankle pain. You just need the right partner to provide it.
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners has you covered. We can help you find a PT clinic near you that’s staffed with experienced and caring physical therapists.