Ankle pain can result from muscle strains, bone fractures, gout, obesity and joint degeneration. If you are suffering when you put weight on your ankle, addressing pain relief and any inflammation should be your first goals. Improving circulation and strength in the area should come next. You can take steps with home treatments recommended by physicians that will give you some relief--and possibly prevent future problems.
Because your ankles bear the majority of your weight when you are standing, resting is the most effective home treatment you can begin. Inflammation will take much longer to subside if you do not get off your feet. Chronic overuse of your ankle may exacerbate your injury or arthritis flare-up until immobilization or surgery are your only options. Rest with your ankle elevated above your heart to calm throbbing and provide immediate pain relief.
When you are able to or must move around, support your weakened ankle with a compressive bandage, a cane or a crutch. Restricting harmful movements with a bandage offers immediate pain relief.
Experts at the National Institutes of Health endorse cold pack home treatment as an ankle pain remedy after a strain. If you have osteoarthritis, gout, osteoporosis or another bone disease, your ankle may respond better to an alternating hot-and-cold therapy. Use two gel packs. One should apply heat for 20 minutes. Follow it with a cold pack for 20 minutes.
Treating ankle pain with oral medication is effective when pills are taken, according to directions and on schedule. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) suggest aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, all of which are available over-the-counter (OTC).
Changing your diet to relieve knee pain can be effective over a longer term. If you are heavy, you may experience poor circulation and heightened stress in the ankles and other weight-bearing joints. If you are overweight and suffer from frequent strains or bone degeneration, losing weight can permanently end your ankle pain. Adding a joint supplement to your diet, such as glucosamine or chondroitin, may also help some people by protecting the ankle joint and surrounding tissue.
Exercise is an ongoing home treatment that will serve as pain relief and prevention. Get a physician’s nod before starting your regimen, when your ankle has healed sufficiently. Swimming is one way to regain some flexibility and muscle tone after a period of rest. You may then begin to let your ankle bear all your weight by balancing on the affected leg. Gradually, say UMMC professionals, you can add hopping, stretching and walking to strengthen muscles and avoid damage in the future.
Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.