Why Do My Ankles Hurt?

Why Do My Ankles Hurt So Much?

If you’re asking yourself why your ankles hurt so much, don’t fret. Ankle pain is one of the most common health concerns for people of any age. Pain in your ankle can be caused by a lot of different factors. Usually, you’ll be able to heal with rest, over-the-counter medication, and other at-home treatments. But, since you use your ankles every day to keep you upright, if there’s an issue with that part of the body, it can become a bigger problem if not immediately addressed. 

It’s important to go to your doctor if you feel that something is wrong with your ankle. Injuries in the ankles are very common and can be addressed by a doctor fairly easily. You should see a doctor immediately if the pain you are experiencing is severe and doesn’t go away after three days of at-home treatment. It’s also important to see your doctor if you can’t put weight on the affected area, the area is red or warm to the touch, or the pain/swelling comes on suddenly. 

Ankle pain can be caused by many different injuries and conditions. If you find it difficult to walk due to this type of pain, it’s important to see a doctor. Most ankle pain can be treated easily at home. Read along to learn more about what might be causing your ankle pain and what you can do about it. 

twisted ankleSudden Ankle Pain Without Injury

Maybe you’ve been experiencing pain in your ankles but you can’t think of an instance in which you might have injured them. Well, you don’t necessarily have to suffer from an injury to feel pain in your ankles or anywhere on your body. The most common causes of this type of pain aside from injury are normal wear and tear and arthritis. 

Ankle pain tends to get better over time with ice, rest, and medication. Additionally, healthcare providers can help you deal with the ordinary effects of wear and tear, and they can also treat diseases like arthritis. Ankle pain is a health issue that can usually be resolved without the need for surgery, but in some cases, when the pain or injury is severe, surgery might be necessary. 

Your doctor might recommend physical therapy for your pain, which can help a lot with arthritis. Physical therapy is a healthcare practice in which a trained professional develops a plan of action specifically tailored to your body to treat physical pain, restore function to different parts of the body, and teach you to manage pain in life. This treatment can help reduce pain in your day-to-day life. 

Common Causes of Ankle Pain When Walking

If you’re experiencing ankle pain when walking, you might be wondering about what the more common causes of ankle pain are. While it’s impossible to know the exact cause of your pain without having a professional diagnose it, here are some potential causes and symptoms to be on the lookout for. 


An ankle sprain occurs when a ligament in the ankle stretches or tears. A sprain tends to happen during physical activity. The ankle might roll or twist forcefully out of its regular position. 


A fracture is when a partial or complete break occurs in a bone. There are plenty of causes for a fracture, including diseases that weaken bones, trauma, and overuse. Ankle fractures can occur from over-flexing and over-extending of a joint, as well as from applying too much force to the area. 


Tendonitis is what happens when a tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. Tendons connect muscles to bones, so ankle pain could be a result of strained tendons in the foot and ankle area. One of the most common causes of tendonitis in the ankle is an Achilles tendon rupture. 

ankle wrapBack of Ankle Pain

As previously stated, ankle pain can have causes other than a simple injury to the area. There are plenty of conditions, diseases, and disorders that can cause this type of pain to occur too. Some of them include:

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a condition in which the ligament that covers the bottom of your foot becomes strained. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain in humans. Some common treatment options for this condition are rest, shoe inserts, physical therapy, and NSAIDs. 


While this is a less likely reason behind your pain, different types of infections can cause pain and swelling in your ankles too. Some of these infections include staph, cellulitis, and osteomyelitis. 


If your pain hasn’t been caused by normal wear and tear or immediate injury, it’s likely that you’re dealing with some type of arthritis. The pain is caused when tissues between joints break down. When these tissues break down, the bones rub together and cause discomfort. There are several types of arthritis that can affect the ankles. 

Treating Ankle Pain

When you visit your doctor with complaints of ankle pain, they will begin the process of diagnosing and treating you by examining your ankle and foot. They’ll be looking for some signs of trauma like bruises, swelling, and redness. Then, depending on what they find during the initial examination, you might have to take some tests. These tests could be x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans. If your provider thinks you have an infection, you might need to get a biopsy. 

Once your healthcare provider finds the source of your pain, they can take steps to treat it. Some common treatments for conditions that cause ankle pain are:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Supportive footwear
  • Braces or splints
  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotic shoe inserts
  • Surgery

ankle painLooking for Specialists to Address Foot and Ankle Pain?

If you live in Illinois and are interested in finding the best foot and ankle specialists to treat your condition, consider booking an appointment with us at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois. We provide comprehensive foot care to patients in Algonquin, Huntley, Carpentersville, and the surrounding areas. Whether you’ve been injured or you have a health condition that affects your feet, we are here to provide treatment options. For more information about ankle pain or to book an appointment with us, visit our website

Written by Ali Hyderi