Foot and ankle pain is common in athletes and very potential in other active individuals with high levels of lower body movement such as runners and hikers. Many foot and ankle injuries occur from a strain or sprain in the area which can commonly occur from ankle twists or rolls. More severe injuries such as broken bones or damaged joints and ligaments can keep athletes out of their sports for weeks and even months depending on the severity of the injury. If it’s an injury from athletics, a fast recovery is usually very important which is why many athletes with ankle and foot injuries of this nature opt into reconstructive surgery as fast as possible. The faster the problem is corrected, the sooner a recovery from surgery can begin.
While some foot and ankle injuries can be severe enough to undergo surgery or other types of invasive procedures to that area, most ankle and foot pain is simply due to sprains and strains from twists or rolls in the ankle or foot. Sprains and strains in the ankle and foot area are caused by hyperextension of the ligaments in the joints and surrounding area. When someone rolls or sprains their ankle, the action typically “hyperextends” or overextends the ligaments in the area causing them to overstretch and sometimes even tear. This can be quite uncomfortable, but if proper methods of rehabilitation are applied such as the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) the recovery process can be greatly reduced and improved, getting you back on your feet faster.
While several sports allow a great potential for these types of injures due to high levels of strain and heavy contact, (such as football, soccer, rugby, etc.) even sports and other activities such as running or hiking can promote the possibility for an ankle injury without the heavy athletic stress and contact. Many runners have ankle and foot problems simply due to chronic issues such as overuse and while a hyperextension can still be common, the amount of wear and tear on the joints and ligaments in the ankle and foot can start to become painful over time simply from overuse.
Whether the ankle and foot pain comes from an injury that is traumatic in nature or chronic and over time, it can always be helped and reduced. Whether it’s an injury severe in nature, requiring an invasive surgical procedure, or it’s an ankle sprain from tripping and rolling it on a recent hike, it can be corrected and usually healed with products like ice wraps in a matter for time. Just use simple methods for aid and recovery which can dramatically reduce ankle and foot pain and swelling. Also read our other articles about ways to reduce foot and ankle pain, and ways to prevent foot and ankle pain for more information. View our selection of ankle ice wrap and foot ice wrap products!
Regardless of the type of foot and ankle injury, most injuries to the ankle area are pretty painful and some can keep you off of your feet for weeks. There are several ways to reduce and soothe ankle and foot pain and swelling. The most common way to aid in the recovery from any injury dealing with sprains, strains, bones, or joints is the use of the RICE method of recovery (Rest, Ice Compression, and Elevation). For pain and swelling in the ankle and foot, this method works great.
Rest by using crutches or a cane to keep pressure off of the entire area, and if possible stay off the foot or ankle all together by sitting in a chair with the leg propped up. Elevation is most important immediately following an injury of this nature due to the fact that blood rushes to the area which causes quick swelling. For long term benefits simply us an ice wrap made for the ankle and apply cold compression for 15-20 minute intervals (15-20 minutes on the injury and then 15-20 minutes off the injury. Some ice wrap manufactures make excellent ankle ice wrap products which stay cold for an extended amount of time allowing more 15-20 minute icing sessions on the ankle without having to get back to the freezer and wait for it to refreeze. This can greatly benefit ankle and foot injuries as mobility is reduced by having to stay off the injured area.
If the foot and ankle injury is severe enough to require a surgical procedure or other invasive action, many times the ankle will be casted and immobilized following the correction. While initial pain can be reduced with ankle ice wraps directly on the area, having a cast can make it difficult to reduce pain with ice, however it is still possible to ice the area regularly if the area becomes uncomfortable.
Whichever type of pain you have, whether it’s from an invasive surgical procedure, or a twist or ankle roll, there are several methods used to correct the issues and reduce pain and swelling. For more information about foot and ankle injuries, pain and swelling in the foot and ankle area, or ways to prevent these issues, look into our other articles about ankle and foot pain. View our selection of ankle ice wrap and foot ice wrap products!
Ankle and foot injuries are commonly caused by athletics or other activities involving high levels of foot and ankle movement such as running, hiking etc. There are many simple ways to prevent and reduce the potential for these issues, and avoid the sudden onset of pain and swelling in the ankle and foot area and the need for ice wraps or other pain relief. While the obvious method of prevention would to be removing yourself (or your ankles and feet) from the activity, realistically this probably isn’t possible due to the demand of talented athletes and work schedules of active job holders such as delivery workers and construction employees. Therefore we come to the next best alternative which is the most commonly used method of prevention of ankle and foot injuries, supportive footwear.
The easiest way to roll an ankle and hyperextend the ligaments in the joint is by not having the support necessary to help hold the foot in place during strenuous activity. Work boots, hiking boots, and other tailored footwear such as running shoes, tennis shoes, and cleats are used for lower body stability and greatly reduce the risk of foot and ankle injury. In construction or production careers it is extremely important to have tough work boots which can withstand heavy blows and support the foot and ankle throughout the day. The use of steel in some types can prevent damage to the foot from objects extremely heavy if they fall on the boot.
For other activities such as athletics, cleats are used for grip and traction helping keep the body from awkward falls and movements. While not all cleats are used specifically for support around the ankle, cleats can still prevent injuries by providing traction on turf. In many situations, athletic trainers will wrap the entire ankle and foot areas with plastic wrap for support to the foot and ankle if it’s needed. Runners have shoes specifically designed for the mobility and support they need with the continuous movement of the legs and ankles during running and other exercises. Many runners shoes help prevent foot and ankle injuries by providing the support needed while allowing the mobility and flexibility of runners lower body motions. Hikers have boots specifically for traction and comfort while walking over rugged terrain.
A good pair of supportive shoes or good quality footwear is probably the best method for prevention of foot and ankle pain. While there may be several different types of footwear for each different activity you may encounter, you can bet that any one of them is a good investment.
Of course it’s not always possible to prevent these types of foot and ankle injuries even with supportive footwear. Even with the best support and highest care taken to prevent a foot or ankle injury, it can still occur. This is why there are many methods of injury recovery and rehabilitation for not only foot and ankle injuries, but any types of injuries. For more information about foot and ankle injuries or other injuries, check out the rest of our pain relief guide and our other articles about foot and ankle pain and swelling. View our selection of ankle ice wrap and foot ice wrap products!