You may occasionally find yourself walking around asking, “why is my ankle sore?” Sometimes it could be a slight sprain you weren’t even aware of. It could be osteoarthritis or the onset of gout.
Whatever is causing the joint pain, it’s no good. Your ankles bear a lot of weight, and when they hurt, it can throw you off balance and increase the risk for falls and severe injury.
If ankle pain is resulting from a sprain, the RICE method might be your best shot at quick natural joint pain relief. RICE stands for:
- Rest: Avoid putting weight on the ankle.
- Ice: 20 minutes on, 30-minutes off
- Compress: Wrap in an elastic or tensor with reasonable tightness. If your foot becomes numb or toes turn purple, it is too tight.
- Elevate: When possible, have your foot higher than your knees. Lay on the sofa with a pillow propping up your foot so that gravity pulls blood away.
These methods can help a sprain or when you’re in a bind, but if the pain in your ankle is caused by arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis, it’s likely to continue.
Action is necessary.
Limiting ankle pain from osteoarthritis is all about keeping mobile so the joint stays nice and loose. When you wake up, spend a little time on ankle mobility to reduce pain and the subsequent risk for falls.
Spending five minutes to loosen up the joint can help. Some movements to encourage ankle mobility and reduce pain include:
- Ankle circles: Elevate your ankle and do 10–15 circle rotations on each foot. Go clockwise and counter-clockwise with each foot, one at a time.
- Up down, side to side: Use your ankle joint to point toes up towards you, away from you, and side to side. Go 10-15 times in each direction.
- Toe raises: Stand on the balls of your feet at the edge of a step or an elevated surface. Hold wall/bannister for support. Being heel down slightly below the drop, then push up so you’re standing on the balls of feet. Go through this range of motion 10-15 times.
Include these movements and boost general activity during the day to prevent and fight back against ankle pain.