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When to See an Expert for Ankle Pain

When to See an Expert for Ankle Pain

by Owen Campbell, PT, DPT, OCS1 Comment

Ankle pain is a common reason many people see their physical therapist. It is often after a bad sprain or for a strained muscle. It can also occur following a more severe injury like a fracture or after surgery like an Achilles repair. These reasons for coming to physical therapy are fairly obvious. The injury typically happens suddenly, with a lot of swelling and pain.

Often, ankle injuries that seem to happen by chance can be predicted. More often than not, a bad ankle sprain isn’t the first ankle sprain. Ankle sprains happen far more times than are reported. Ask yourself how many times you have “rolled your ankle” and just took a few days off. Were your ankle muscles giving you pain at the end of your long runs causing you to decrease mileage?

If you are wondering when you should see an expert for your ankle pain – the fundamental rule for visiting an expert for any problem or issue is if you can’t fix it. Your car starts shaking, and you don’t know how to change out the brake pads; you see a mechanic. If your hot water goes out, and you don’t know how to rewire the water heater, you call a plumber. The same should go with your body. You see an expert if you get pain and can’t fix it.

I often hear, “well, I just ran less,” or “well, I stopped playing that sport.” Would you drive slower with bad breaks or take cold showers with a broken water heater? Likely not. You could get by, sure, but it wouldn’t be what you want. This is where an expert in movement *cough* physical therapist *cough* comes in.

If you must limit or stop what you enjoy because you can’t fix your ankle pain, then you need the help of an expert. A few sessions to address small movement issues is like taking your car to the mechanic when it shakes. If you do nothing about it, more significant problems could lurk. Pain is your body’s warning system, and we are here to help.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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Owen Campbell was a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy at the time of this blog.

1 Comment

  1. Brian Bulger

    This article provides such valuable insights into managing ankle pain! As someone who’s struggled with this issue in the past, I couldn’t agree more with the importance of knowing when to seek expert advice. It’s all too easy to dismiss persistent discomfort as something minor, but as the article rightly points out, untreated ankle pain can lead to serious complications down the road. I appreciate the clear guidelines outlined here, helping readers recognize when it’s time to consult a specialist. Taking proactive steps towards proper care can make all the difference in ensuring long-term ankle health and overall well-being. Thanks for shedding light on this crucial topic!

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