Whether you have suffered a sports injury or are unsure of the cause, instep and ankle pain can put a real dent in your daily routine. This type of pain can halt most physical activities, and until properly taken care of, it can lead to further injury.
Pain in the ankle is typically described as general discomfort, sharp or throbbing and is often associated with swelling. The ankle can hurt while at rest with pain showing significant increase upon standing or even by rotating the foot. The muscles and tendons can also be tender to the touch.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ankle pain is often caused by injury such as a sprain, or arthritis, gout and infection. Pseudogout and gout are both conditions where either uric acid or calcium are deposited in the joints. All of these causes can produce pain, swelling and redness.
The instep is the area on the top of your foot, between the ankle and the toes, where the laces of your shoes would rest. Discomfort can vary from a dull ache, burning or shooting to stabbing pains and are usually aggravated by inefficient arch support in footwear. The area also can show swelling, redness and be painful to the touch.
Tendonitis & Flat Feet
Tendonitis can cause instep pain and is often the result of a strain, minor degeneration or a rupture of the tendon. If you are an avid walker or runner, you might experience tendonitis. According to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Pes Planus is also a culprit of instep pain. Pes Planus is when the arch or instep collapses to the point of touching the ground; it is referred to as flat foot. This is a common condition where the arch never develops during adolescence or falls when people reach their 60s and 70s.
To prevent injuries, wear shoes that fit properly, and if you play sports, make sure they are designed for that particular sport. Always warm up before and cool down after any physical activity, and stretch to keep your muscles loose and limber. Lose weight and build muscle to reduce the strain on your joints and reduce the risk of injury.
In the event of an ankle or instep injury, there are a few initial steps you can take to alleviate pain. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen paired with a cold compress can reduce pain and swelling. Keeping your foot elevated to reduce blood flow and ceasing physical activity until the pain improves will prevent further injury. If the onset of pain is sudden and severe, follows an injury or you have obvious swelling or a fever, contact a medical professional for treatment.