Ongoing ankle pain

Ongoing, or chronic ankle pain can be very frustrating and physiotherapy can often be useful in getting to the cause of the problem. Most ankle sprains will completely resolve, and return to normal if treated correctly. However occasionally ankle pain persists longer than it should, and it is important not to ignore these symptoms. Sometimes there can be a more serious problem than initially suspected such as a small fracture or damage to the cartilage of the ankle joint. If this is the case a specialist opinion should be sought. A more common reason for ongoing pain and stiffness is chronic inflammation of the soft tissue around the ankle joint, termed impingement or synovitis. This may be caused by trying to do too much in the early stages of your recovery, or going back to sport too quickly. Generally you will have reduced range of motion and pain in the front, side or rear of your ankle. You may have some visible swelling and the ankle will often feel stiffer in the morning. It is important to give the ankle some rest when you have this condition, as continuing to play sport through pain will prolong your recovery. Physiotherapy is effective at helping you regain your movement, strength and reducing your pain so that you can return to sport as quickly as possible. Your treatment will likely involve massage and joint mobilisation, stretching and a home exercise programme.