When to See a Professional for Ankle Pain

When to See a Professional for Ankle Pain

It’s easy to take your ankles for granted, at least when they’re working well. They help you travel through your life, every day. Though your ankles are strong, they’re also complex joints.

If you’re mobile, at some point or another, you’re going to hurt your ankles, whether that’s a strain or twist, or something worse. In fact, 2 million people suffer ankle injuries each year. 

You may experience pain in your ankles as a result of arthritis too. But how can you tell if and when you should see a medical professional about your ankle pain? You might be tempted to just “power through,” but sometimes that’s the worst thing you can do.

Physical therapists Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, and Billy Reilly, MS, PT, offer compassionate care for a wide range of problems at Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation, and ankle pain is something their customized treatment can ease and eliminate. 

Because they do a deep dive into your history of ankle pain, the treatment they provide is completely tailored to your symptoms and needs. 

Ankle pain: When to treat it yourself and when to seek care

As we noted, there are a multitude of problems that cause ankle pain, including:

Ankle pain can also occur after surgical procedures like ankle fusion, a repair of the Achilles tendon, and even a bunionectomy. 

Ankle pain can be treated conservatively with pain medications or the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. 

But there are some red flags with ankle pain that indicate you should seek treatment, such as severe, persistent pain or extreme swelling. It’s also time to book an appointment with us for a full evaluation if your ankle pain worsens after a period of weeks. 

Another problem that points to an ankle situation becoming serious is if you notice any signs of infection, like your ankle feeling warm to the touch or redness, sensitivity, or a fever above 100℉. 

It’s also concerning if you find that you can’t put any weight on your foot, though by the time ankle pain is that debilitating, you’re sure to want relief. 

You may need imaging tests, as well, before we create a treatment plan for you. Rest assured that our treatment philosophy involves finding a solution tailored to you, listening to your concerns, and treating you with the respect you deserve.

How a physical therapist can treat your ankle pain

We’re here to help you regain full use of your ankle and make pain a thing of the past. 

At Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation, we employ a combination of manual physical therapy and special exercises that go to the root of your ankle discomfort, but we never demand too much of you. 

We also believe in the power of building a strong bond with you, so you always see the same physical therapist, consistently, throughout your treatment.

Exercises that we have found help patients with bad ankle pain include foot flexing and moving the ankle backward and forward. This is known as non-weight bearing dorsiflexion. Another exercise, non-weight bearing plantar flexion, improves the strength of the tendons that envelop your ankle. 

Other exercises that are helpful are non-weight bearing eversion, which builds both ankle flexibility and strength, and non-weight bearing inversion, which focuses on enhancing flexibility so your ankle is better stabilized. 

We may also recommend plyometric exercises, which are designed specifically to lower the chances that you’ll have a repeat ankle injury. These movements make the muscles and tendons that surround your ankle stronger and are particularly helpful for treating injuries that runners and those who play sports like football, soccer, and rugby typically sustain.

If you need attentive and expert care for ankle pain that has become severe, call our New York City office, located Midtown East, Manhattan, at 607-602-1330, or reach out to us through our website.

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