Ankle pain often occurs due to an ankle sprain, which is an injury to the ligaments in your ankle. This causes small tears and leads to swelling and bruising. (See Reference 1.) Aside from injuries, ankle pain can be caused by arthritis, gout, pseudo-gout and infection, according to the National Institutes of Health. You can get rid of ankle pain by healing the injury through a few weeks of recovery. (See Reference 1.)
Things You'll Need
- Compression bandage
- Ice pack
- Pain relief medication
- Health care provider
Rest your injured ankle for several days, trying not to move the painful area. Limit your usual activities. (See References 2 and 3.)
Wrap a compression bandage such as an ACE bandage around your ankle. This will help if your ankle is unstable. If this doesn't help, visit your doctor and get fitted for an ankle brace or crutches. That will keep the weight off your injury. (See References 2 and 3.)
Elevate your foot to protect it from swelling. Ice the affected area. NIH recommends applying ice for 10 to 15 minutes every hour the first day you notice the pain and every 3 to 4 hours for the next 2 days. (See References 1 and 3.)
Take a pain relief medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxyn (Aleve) to alleviate the swelling and pain in your ankle. (References 1 and 3.)
Keep the pressure off of your ankle for up to 10 days for a mild sprain. You may need to do this for several weeks for a severe sprain. You can keep the ankle wrapped or continue to use crutches to support it. (See Reference 3.)
Call your doctor if swelling does not decrease within a few days, if you think you have an infection or the pain persists over the course of several weeks. If the affected area becomes red, warm and more painful, or if you have a fever, you have signs of an infection. (See Reference 3.)
Tips & Warnings
- Once the ankle is healed, exercise and strengthen it to prevent further injury. However, wait until your health care provider gives you the approval to start exercising. (See Reference 3.)
- Go to the hospital if you have severe pain upon weight-bearing or if you think you may have broken a bone. (See Reference 3.)
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