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Ankle

Female patient doing some special leg stretching exercisesThe most common cause of ankle pain is due to an ankle sprain. Sprained ankles occur when the foot exceeds its normal range of motion and, as a result, the ligaments in the ankle joint stretch or tear. Ankle pain and sprains are very common, especially for athletes and anyone who is on their feet a majority of the day. Physical therapy helps to regain the range of motion lost after an ankle sprain along with strengthening the muscles, reducing pain, and ultimately helping the patient return to normal activity and sports.

The most common ankle sprain occurs to the lateral (outer) side of the ankle; however, medial (inner) side sprains can happen, as well. Many people suffer subsequent ankle sprains after their initial injury to the area. The chance of reinjuring the same area with a second or third ankle sprain can be reduced with the appropriate physical therapy after the initial incident.


Symptoms of ankle pain:

  • Swelling in the ankle area
  • Throbbing ankle
  • Weak ankle
  • Stiffness in the ankle area
  • Instability in the ankle joint
  • Bruising around the ankle area
  • Inability to bear weight on the ankle
  • Burning pain in ankle

Possible reasons for ankle pain:

  • Sprained ankle
  • Bruised ankle
  • Broken ankle
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Stress fracture in the ankle
  • Tendinitis degenerative tendon

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