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Ankle hurts but no swelling: causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Often when a joint hurts, this is usually accompanied by inflammation, but what happens when it is not when you only feel pain, but that area is delicate. In these cases, it is essential to consult the doctor since sometimes the delay can make the discomfort worse, not to mention when trying different treatments that are not needed.

There are not many causes of ankle pain without swelling, but if you want to know them, continue reading this article by FastlyHeal, in which we answer the question of why my ankle hurts but is not swollen.

Ankle pain from Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is a structure that connects the muscles in the back of the leg with the heel. When it becomes inflamed, it begins to hurt in the back of the ankle; it can be accompanied by stiffness, especially in the morning.

This tendon tends to weaken as the years go by. A person is more likely to suffer from tendonitis if they engage in vigorous physical activity and do not usually do it or if they only play sports on weekends.

To avoid this problem, it is convenient: to wear appropriate footwear for physical activity; if you are going to do sports that you have never done, start small. It is also advisable that you stretch after doing sports.

Ankle pain without plantar fasciitis swelling

If you have pain in the ankle and, especially, in the heel, the cause of your discomfort may be plantar fasciitis. What happens is that the tendons and ligaments that are part of the so-called plantar fascia are inflamed, which is a structure that maintains the arch of the foot, joining the heel to the toes. And since the inflammation of these structures is practically invisible, you will feel pain in the ankle or the sole, but the area will not be swollen. For various reasons, this problem can occur:

  • When wearing footwear that does not provide adequate support.
  • If you stand a lot on hard floors.
  • By making considerable and repeated efforts with the sole (as is the case with runners).
  • In overweight people.
  • Likewise, if you change the way you walk due to pain in the heel or the sole, problems can be generated in other areas such as the foot, knee, hip, or back.

Osteoarthritis in the ankle

A person with osteoarthritis in an ankle joint may feel pain and stiffness in the affected area. The pain usually appears during or after movement, and the stiffness is generally after being a long time without moving the ankle (such as after sleeping).

They may also appear to lack flexibility and sensitivity if it is squeezed around the painful area and make noises when using the joint. In some cases, there is inflammation, but not always, so it can cause ankle pain without swelling.

Osteoarthritis usually occurs due to deterioration of that joint, which can be for different reasons:

  • Previous injuries to that joint.
  • Overweight.
  • Bone deformities from birth.
  • Repeated strain on the affected ankle (s).
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes and hemochromatosis.
  • The problem is chronic; it can worsen over time if a solution is not sought.

Ankle pain without swelling from tarsal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel syndrome in hand is much better known; this is its equivalent in the foot. It is a compression of the tibial nerve (one of the nerves that pass through the internal area of ​​the ankle), which is surrounded by a somewhat rigid band. It can be affected by different causes and compress the nerve. If this is the case, you may feel:

  • Pain on the inside of the ankle and sole. It increases with walking, when standing for a long time, and decreases with rest.
  • Numbness and tingling in those areas.
  • Burning sensation
  • Decreased sensitivity
  • Weakness or atrophy of the standing muscles.

In this case, recovery through physical therapy is always attempted, posture improvement is attempted, appropriate footwear is indicated, and, if none of this results, surgery can be resorted to.

What to do if my ankle hurts but is not swollen?

In any case of joint pain, you must attend a consultation with your trusted doctor or specialist in traumatology and orthopedics so that they can assess whether it really may be your problem. Indeed, he will ask you some questions, will review you, and may need to ask you for studies. Treatment may include pain relievers and physical therapy.

Until then, try:

  • Do not perform movements that cause you pain.
  • Do not carry weight.
  • Do not stand for a long time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.

On the other hand, paying attention to the type of diet you eat can bring you significant improvements; you must increase the number of raw fruits and vegetables, legumes, and seeds and, on the other hand, reduce processed foods, flours, meats, and dairy. This will improve the nutrients that reach the joint, promoting its recovery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to My ankle hurts, but it’s not swollen: what could it be? We recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

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