07 May 2018 feet

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of injuries and conditions, with damage to the ankle bone, ligaments and tendons, and several types of arthritis being common agitators.

While we advise that you should visit your podiatrist when you start to experience any pain or discomfort in your ankles, the following guide outlines some of the more common causes of pain.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are among the most common causes of pain and discomfort in the ankle. A sprain occurs when your ligaments – the tissues that connect your bones – get overstretched or tear. The most common form of sprain is a lateral sprain, which is what happens when you roll your ankle. This can be painful because the rolling motion causes the ligaments in your ankle to stretch or break, which leads to swelling and bruising that can last up to 14 days.

A lot of people who have suffered from a sprained ankle at some point in their life report having a permanently weaker and less stable ankle/foot, when compared to their other, undamaged one. Having previously sprained your ankle is also one of the biggest risk factors for spraining an ankle, as the ligaments are already weaker.

Other Causes of Pain

Ankle pain can also be a result of conditions like arthritis and gout, or from nerve damage, blocked blood vessels and even infections in your joints.


Arthritis happens when your joints become inflamed. There are a few different types of arthritis that can lead to ankle pain, however, osteoarthritis is the most common one. This type of arthritis is caused by natural wear and tear on your joints and becomes more common the older you get.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

It’s not uncommon for ankle pain to be a symptom of a bacterial or fungal infection, like septic arthritis. This will affect the ankles if the infection has spread to this part of your body.


Gout might sound like a condition from the Middle Ages that has long since been wiped out, but it’s actually a lot more common than you might think. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the body, and when this higher than normal level of uric acid deposits crystals in the joint, sufferers will feel a sharp pain. Pseudogout is a similar condition that occurs when calcium builds up in the joints, and like gout, it can result in pain, swelling and redness.

What to do When You’re Suffering From Ankle Pain

When you’re experiencing any form of ankle pain, it’s best to book a consultation with your podiatrist to determine what the cause of the pain is and the best course of treatment. However, there are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate your discomfort.

  • Get plenty of rest and avoid putting weight or unnecessary pressure on your foot and ankle. If you need to move around, consider using crutches.
  • Regularly ice your ankle – 20 minutes at a time a few times a day. This will help reduce swelling and will start to numb the pain.
  • Compress the affected area by wrapping a bandage around it. Although, make sure you don’t wrap it too tightly, as you don’t want your toes to turn blue or to start experiencing any numbness.
  • Keep your ankle elevated above heart level, if possible.

Want to get to the root of your pain? Make an appointment with your Perth podiatrist at Cannington Podiatry today!