Ankle sprains are a common source of ankle pain, and they tend to also cause swelling. However, there are other causes of ankle pain that can occur with no swelling.
U.S. adults typically spend much of their day on their feet. One study found that about 24% of Americans spend six or more hours per day on their feet. People who fall into this category will likely want to determine why their ankle hurts as soon as possible, even if there’s no swelling. A physical therapist can help you learn the source of your ankle pain. Also, physical therapists can help you find top-notch treatment for many ankle problems.
Issues that commonly cause ankle pain but no swelling
Swelling is a common symptom when soft tissue is injured. But your ankle contains more than just muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue. That’s why certain ankle problems can trigger ankle pain but no swelling. Additionally, minor soft tissue injuries are less likely to cause noticeable swelling. Some of the issues that can lead to ankle pain and not cause swelling include:
- Peripheral neuropathy — Like the rest of your body, there is a network of nerves in your ankles and feet. These nerves can trigger ankle pain when they’re damaged or irritated. If this happens in your ankle, it’s called peripheral neuropathy. This condition can occur after ankle trauma. People with conditions like diabetes also tend to develop this issue.
- Joint instability — Ligaments and tendons in your ankle help keep it stable. However, they can become loose or weak following an injury like a sprained ankle. When this happens, your ankle can become chronically unstable, which can lead to occasional discomfort.
- Osteoarthritis — The cartilage in your ankles can wear away as you get older. This can lead to joint inflammation that’s called ankle osteoarthritis. In its initial stages, this issue tends to cause aching in the affected ankle. Yet it may not lead to noticeable swelling. People often feel the most discomfort first thing in the morning or after the ankle has been in one position for a while.
How can a physical therapist treat your ankle condition?
There are many ways a physical therapist can treat issues that cause the ankle to hurt but cause no swelling. A few of the therapy techniques that your specialist may use are:
- Therapeutic exercises intended to stretch, strengthen and lubricate the ankle.
- Joint mobilization therapy designed to improve the flexibility and mobility of your ankle.
- Total motion release that focuses on realigning the affected joint and promoting natural healing.
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that can help break up scar tissue that’s restricting ankle movement.
Continuum Wellness offers treatment for ankle pain even if there’s no swelling
Dealing with ankle pain but no visible swelling? Our team of physical therapists at Continuum Wellness can help you find effective treatment for your pain. We can pinpoint the source of your pain during a free screening of your ankle. Next, our specialists can create a personalized therapy plan for you that’s intended to:
- Decrease pain.
- Improve joint flexibility.
- Increase your ability to walk.
- Reduce your risk of future ankle problems.
Contact our team today for more information about how we can treat your ankle pain or to schedule an initial appointment.