Common Ways to Fix Ankle Pain

by | Regenerative Medicine

Common Ways to Fix Ankle Pain

Jul 26, 2022

Ankle pain can be caused by dozens of things. Three of the most common include arthritis, overuse (such as from standing all day or manual labor), and sports injuries. If you have ankle pain that doesn’t require emergency care or an old injury that keeps resurfacing, you may try the home remedies below.

If those easy methods aren’t successful, you may head to the doctor’s office to seek more serious treatments. But if those fail, or if you feel the risks of many conventional medicine treatments aren’t for you, there is an alternative. Read on to learn common ways to fix ankle pain, plus one your own doctor might not even be familiar with.

Home Remedies


If you’ve overdone it as a weekend warrior training for a 5K or simply been on your feet all week (especially in high heels), rest may be what you need to get rid of ankle pain. Staying off your feet until you feel better and then avoiding the original cause of your pain can work wonders, often in combination with other methods below.

You may add using a cane, walker, or crutches to the “rest” category, as these can help take weight off your ankle, so you’re not making the pain worse. If you have chronic ankle pain, you may already have these support devices to use when pain flares.


Putting your foot up is another way to rest it. And the elevation is helpful if you have any swelling involved. Try to get the ankle higher than the level of your heart if you’re trying to reduce swelling.


In days past, we had to use wrap bandages or prescription hose to provide compression to reduce swelling and pain in the ankle. However, nowadays there are many easier options available, such as compression wraps from the drugstore or athletic compression socks found online.

The effectiveness of compression depends on multiple factors, including the cause of the injury, the type of compression used, and skill with which it is applied. If you are going to use compression on a long-term basis, it may be best to have an orthopedist, physical therapist, or certified athletic trainer show you how to do it properly.

Ice or heat

Ice and heat never go out of style because they work. Use ice if swelling is involved or when you want to reduce inflammation. Heat is better for stiffness and tight muscles.

Supportive footwear

If you’ve been wearing flimsy, thin-soled, or high-heeled shoes for a while, you may find relief with better footwear. Look for shoes that aren’t too tight but still provide superior support of the foot, especially under the arch and around the heel. Although high-top shoes and booties don’t actually support the ankle much, they can be helpful to provide biofeedback if you tend to stand improperly, such as pronating or supinating.

Over-the-counter pain medications

You may take non-prescription naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and therefore reduce ankle pain. Be careful, however, because even though these are over-the-counter drugs, they can still have side effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these are known, can cause high blood pressure, acid reflux, and increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Treatments at the Doctor’s Office

Braces or splints

If you visit your doctor, they may suggest using a brace or splint to give your ankle more support. These are made to fit your anatomy, but they still take a bit of getting used to. Different devices work better than others depending on your lifestyle, which you can review with your physician. Also, know that these aren’t necessarily carte blanche to resume activities that trigger your ankle pain.

Custom orthotics

Support inside your shoes can also help with ankle pain. While you can purchase generic orthotic inserts online or at the pharmacy for less, they work better if they are custom-fit for your feet and the type of shoes you wear. An orthopedist or podiatrist can provide this service for you.

Joint aspiration

If you have excess fluid in the ankle joint, it may need to be aspirated. Joint aspiration involves inserting a needle where the fluid is located and drawing it out. This can help with swelling and improve mobility as well.

Steroid injections

Steroid shots are great for relieving pain, but they aren’t ideal to use long-term (they tend to wear off after around 6-12 weeks and shouldn’t be repeated more than a few times). Also, steroid shots can have side effects and may not be fully covered by your insurance. They tend to be best as a stop-gap treatment so you can manage physical therapy or get sleep while you rest the joint.

Physical therapy

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy if specific exercises would be helpful to relieve ankle pain. Physical therapy can increase strength, help with balance, and improve range of motion. Usually this entails working with a therapist and then repeating exercises on your own at home or at the health club.

Prescription drugs

If over-the-counter medications don’t offer relief, your physician may prescribe a medication for you. Be extra cautious about these drugs, though. Prescription pain pills tend to have worse side effects than their over-the-counter cousins, such as nausea, vomiting, and sedation. They can also become addictive when used for more than a week or two.


Surgery should always be a last-ditch remedy when other treatments have failed. This is because going under the knife has multiple downsides:

  • It’s potentially expensive if you have insurance deductibles, copayments, or things your insurance won’t cover.
  • You need to take time off work and other activities while you recuperate.
  • Rehabilitation with physical therapy will usually be required.
  • There is the potential for scarring, both at the surgical site and within the interior of the ankle joint, where adhesions can form during healing.
  • Anesthesia and the period immediately following surgery can be risky for blood clots and other complications, particularly if you have other health conditions.
  • The surgery may not fix your ankle problem or provide 100 percent pain relief.

An Alternative to Conventional Treatments

Regenerative medicine

Have you ever wished there was a more natural, effective, and long-lasting way to fix ankle pain? Good news! Regenerative medicine checks each one of those boxes, and it’s much safer than medications or surgery.

Regenerative medicine is so new that many doctors aren’t very familiar with it yet. Although it isn’t typically covered by insurance, it may cost you less in the long run because it gives you a long-term solution to ankle pain, one that isn’t just a repetitive band-aid approach or masking pain but actual healing.

How does it work? Exosomes, which are similar to stem cells but more ethically derived, are injected into the ankle joint. They prompt the body to start its natural healing process, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and regenerating lost tissue where necessary. The cells produced then reproduce over and over again, giving you long-lasting effects, which are often enjoyed for months or years at a stretch.

Regenerative medicine is at the forefront of medical technology, and it’s being researched for much broader use to treat conditions ranging from diabetes to cancer. At RegenerWave Clinic, we use it for arthritis, joint degeneration, sports injuries, and other sources of ankle pain, in conjunction with our functional medicine holistic path to wellness that includes hormone regulation, gut health, and nutrition.

Are you a good candidate for regenerative medicine with exosomes at RegenerWave Clinic? One appointment with a physical exam, medical history, and imaging can give us all the information you need. You don’t need to endure chronic ankle pain or suffer the risks of medications and surgery when there are exciting new treatments available. Call us at 954-510-3150 today or get in touch online to schedule your initial consultation.

Dr. Rodriguez

Dr Rodriguez

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