3 ways PT can help chronic ankle pain

foot and ankle pain treatments

According to research, nearly 12% of people in the U.S. will experience ankle pain. Ankle pain, especially chronic pain, can lead to difficulty walking, standing and performing daily activities. Treatment for chronic ankle pain is essential for those hoping to alleviate their discomfort and improve function. Here’s what you need to know about the most common causes of chronic ankle pain and how physical therapy can help.

What are some of the top causes of chronic ankle pain?

There are several reasons why someone might experience chronic pain in their ankles. The most common of these reasons are:

  • Chronic ankle instabilityChronic ankle instability is a condition that involves chronic “giving out” of the ankle. It’s usually the result of several ankle sprains and is caused by weak ligaments in the ankle. When a person has chronic ankle instability, they’re more likely to experience ankle sprains, resulting in chronic ankle pain.
  • Ankle fracture — Ankle fractures involve one or more minor cracks in the ankle bone or a clean break across the bone. Fractures can be caused by overuse but most often are caused by trauma to the bone, such as during a sports injury. The severity of the ankle fracture can cause the pain to vary, but a fracture will typically cause chronic pain for as long as it takes to heal. In cases where the fracture doesn’t heal properly, the pain may last longer than is typically expected. 
  • ArthritisArthritis is a term used to describe joint disease or joint pain that causes a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling and stiffness. There are over 100 kinds of arthritis, and having arthritis symptoms can include chronic pain. It can affect nearly any joint in the body, and when it affects the ankles, it can lead to chronic ankle pain.
  • Tendinitis — Tendinitis is a condition in which one or more of the tendons in the body becomes irritated and inflamed. Tendinitis in the ankle, also known as peroneal tendinitis, is usually the result of overuse or physical trauma. When left untreated, peroneal tendinitis can cause chronic ankle pain.

How can physical therapy improve someone’s chronic ankle pain?

Physical therapy can help those with chronic ankle pain by:

  • Improving gait and balance — Oftentimes, patients who have ankle pain will avoid using the affected ankle and compensate by adjusting their gait. Improper gait can lead to further issues and can even lead to unstable balance. Your physical therapist can spot abnormalities in your gait and address them during your sessions.
  • Increasing ankle flexibility — When patients experience recurring pain in their ankles, stiffness and limited mobility typically follow because they don’t use their ankles as much as they should. Your physical therapist can gently exercise and manipulate your ankles to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility without going beyond your pain threshold.
  • Building muscle strength — Your physical therapist can help you build strength in the muscles around your ankles so that your ankles are better supported. While the joints and ligaments themselves within the ankles can’t be strengthened, strong muscles can protect them and prevent injury. 

Armor Physical Therapy can provide high-quality treatment to those with ankle pain

Are you ready to get relief from the pain in your ankle that just won’t go away on its own? Our team of physical therapists at Armor PT can help you start treatment for your ankle injury or condition. We perform free screenings designed to determine the root cause of your pain. We do this so that you can better understand why you’re feeling this pain and how treatment can benefit you. Once you’ve undergone a screening, we can work together to design a personalized treatment plan that will help you manage your ankle pain and reduce the chances of it occurring in the future.

If getting to and from your therapy sessions with recurring ankle pain is your main concern, don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need. Our physical therapy team offers virtual physical therapy services to treat you at home.

Contact us today for more information about how we can treat your ankle pain or to schedule an initial appointment.

Quick Links


Schedule An Appointment

Get our Email Newsletter

No Fields Found.

Follow Armor PT