Non-Surgical Treatments For Chronic Ankle Pain
Do you struggle with constant or frequent pain in your ankle? This sort of chronic pain can be due to a damaged ligament or tendon. It can also be caused by an old injury that never fully healed, or by arthritis. Sometimes, people avoid seeing a podiatrist for ankle pain because they are afraid that the recommended treatment will be surgery. Indeed, surgery can be the best option for some cases of chronic ankle pain. But there are definitely non-surgical procedures that podiatrists can and do prescribe. Here are a few such treatments.
Since your ankles are almost the lowest part of your body, it is common for fluid to collect in them. This fluid accumulation, which leads to inflammation, can make your ankle pain worse by constricting your movement. If inflammation seems to be a big contributor to your ankle pain, then your podiatrist may recommend compression as a treatment for your ankle problems. They may recommend a specific brand of compression socks or compression stockings for you to wear. If you keep inflammation down via compression, you will often notice that any pain and stiffness you experience become less pronounced, too.
Your podiatrist may also prescribe you an NSAID medication to take on a regular basis. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These medications work by relieving both pain and inflammation, which makes them really helpful for arthritis, ligament issues, torn tendons, and other common musculoskeletal ailments that lead to ankle pain. Some NSAIDs do have digestive side effects, so you may be instructed to take the medication with food. It's important to take these medications consistently, and not just when you're in pain, as this method keeps inflammation under closer control.
Cortisone belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. They are very effective at reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing process, especially when injected directly into injured tissues. If your podiatrist finds that your ankle pain is due to tendon or ligament damage, they will likely recommend a cortisone shot. The shot itself tends to be painful, but you should have relief within a few days, and that relief can last for months. Sometimes, all it takes is one shot to stimulate your body's healing process and give you freedom from ankle pain.
Ankle pain does not always mean surgery. Talk to your podiatrist to learn about non-surgical treatments they may offer.