Ankle Impingement Treatment Plan
Do you often experience pain in the front or back of your ankle when you flex your foot? It could be due to an ankle impingement syndrome. This syndrome is usually ascribed to inflammation, so the first treatment should be aimed at reducing that inflammation. The disease can become more severe when left untreated and can even lead to surgery if nothing works. Keep scrolling for the best ways to manage impingement syndrome to help keep discomfort at bay!
Ankle Impingement Treatment Plan
Ankle impingement typically entails several conservative treatments to reduce inflammation, such as icing and using a topical pain reliever. It is also recommended that you strengthen your ankle muscles with specific exercises to help prevent pain from recurring. If these passive treatments do not alleviate your symptoms, your doctor may suggest additional treatments or surgery. Your doctor will recommend a rehab program that's right for you after surgery—for most patients. It means starting physical therapy soon after surgery and gradually increasing the work they do on their own to strengthen their ankle before they return to all regular activity.
Treating Anterior vs. Posterior
There are two types of ankle impingement, Anterior and Posterior. Anterior ankle impingement involves causing pain at the front of your foot, whereas posterior ankle impingement is when there is pain at the back of your foot. These can cause a lot of problems with how a person walks. If you feel any discomfort, just remember to take it slow. We want people to be aware that an ankle sprain can range from bad to worse if one goes about their daily life as usual without proper medical attention or rest.
Regardless of the location where the pain is experienced, whether right in the ankle joint or in the lower leg area, treatment options for bone spurs and other causes involve the same sorts of conservative remedies.
Ankle impingement syndrome, also known as exercise-induced compartment syndrome, can be managed through several options. We've outlined them here for you in this article to understand how pain can be controlled by reducing the swelling in the surrounding soft tissue.
When dealing with ankle impingement, it's essential to get professional massages to avoid setbacks and help the healing process. Massaging the muscles will help encourage proper circulation back into compromised areas by increasing blood flow through the vessels and releasing any built-up knots. Don't apply pressure on bony prominences or directly over the injury, as rubbing here can make things worse. We recommend using cocoa butter before massages, so you don't further irritate your skin and moisturizing after massages for best results.
Heat & Cold Therapy
When treating ankle impingement, you need to understand that cold - unlike heat - decrease inflammation. Start with a cold therapy pack and hold it against your injured ankle, isolated from the rest of your leg for around 20 minutes every couple of hours when you begin feeling pain. When your swelling has gone done, you can introduce heat that will do much more than soothe your sore ankle. Herbal heating pads applied to the injury for 20 minutes after some time helps relax muscles and gives instant relief from pain. But watch out if you're using heat in case you suffer from bruising or swelling, as it can make them worse!
Reduced Activity Level
When you're accustomed to staying on your feet all day, resting might seem like the last thing you want to do. But to make a full recovery from active ankle impingement, you'll need to kick back and take a load off. If you let it go untreated, bone spurs will keep swelling up and give you chronic pain that won't go away on its own. So don't accept ankle instability!
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen are the ibuprofen versions of your favorite over-the-counter pain relievers. They will not cure your ankle impingement but are a great addition to your treatment plan for some quick pain relief. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you start a new medication to ensure it won't interfere with any other medications you may be on, and make sure there are no unintended side effects!
Strengthening exercises that increase your lower body strength can help reduce further injury to the ankle bone and reduce pain. Strong lower leg muscles will help maintain the ankle joint space to prevent compression and pain. Balance exercises are used to increase stability in your ankle. Lastly, don’t forget to stretch your lower body and ankle to maintain the range of motion and the flexibility of your joints.
Ice packs and therapists (and those fancy hot pack things) are great for treating those pesky injuries. Once the injury is evaluated, the therapist will put together a plan of action using one or more options: manipulation of the joint to promote mobility around the restrictive areas and muscle strengthening exercises that do not aggravate the injured area. To clean up any aches and pains you might have in addition; therapists can also work on scar tissue through several different massage techniques. To complete your home treatment program expect to be given instructions on how to perform some targeted stretches and exercises that might help you better recover!
Working with a physical therapist you've been injured in the past helps because they understand injuries take time to heal. They will help refresh your memory on which stretches or exercises have worked best in the past to get you back up and moving again! Having that information at the tips of your fingers is so much better than spending days ( or even months) figuring out what worked best for other people.
Surgery for Ankle Impingement
Not all people with ankle impingement require surgery, but those who suffer from more than two years of ongoing pain still can't find any relief and may have twisted their ankles beyond repair. Orthopedic surgeons can determine whether a patient is a candidate for surgery based upon results gathered in diagnostic imaging such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As it reveals what parts of the ankle joint have been damaged and whether other conditions like arthritis or a fracture are present. The surgeons will perform an arthroscopy to determine which procedure is best for them - be it trimming off tissue growths or even cutting off the entire joint altogether to prevent further damage!
Surgical treatment can involve debridement, which means removing the osteophytes (bone spurs) near the talus. This can be done through arthroscopy, which uses small incisions and quick recovery time. Your surgeon will tell you if arthroscopic or open surgery is best for your particular injury.
Healing Your Ankle Impingement
Ankle impingement is a curious condition that affects dancers, soccer players, and athletes – but it does not discriminate. Injuries like ankle fractures or sprains can cause it. Treatment begins at home with the proper pieces of equipment such as braces, exercise, and bandages. If the home treatments do not relieve you, consult with your doctor regarding other possible courses of action to safely get you back in action!