How To Correctly Diagnose Ankle Joint Pain
Ankle joint pain can be caused by a great many different factors, some of them far more serious than others. It is one of the most common complaints among those who are physically active, and who are able to take part in sport. So many sports are either contact based, in which case the ankles are a very vulnerable part, or else they involve continuous slamming down of weight on the legs or the ankles. While it may seem obvious what the cause is in these cases, it does not mean that they should not be properly analyzed. There may be an aggravation of a deeper cause.
In many cases a patient will begin to have a pain or experience swelling shortly after being hit on the ankle, either while playing sport or just by accident. This does not mean that there is not some deeper reason why this has happened, so a physician should be consulted immediately. If the pain is a true one off, then the chances are that there is nothing to worry about, but you want to be sure if for no other reason than your own peace of mind.
The first steps a physician will take are making sure that there is no break in any bone, or severe sprain which will need dedicated treatment. If you believe you may have broken your ankle, you should if possible raise it above the level of the rest of your body while you are laying down. Apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling and the pain if you possibly can. If you are unable to walk at all on the ankle, then a break is the most likely cause.
If you can walk on the ankle, it is still possible that there may be a break to the fibula. It is still best to raise the foot, treat it with an ice pack, and then consult with a physician. These fractures are not that difficult to treat, and given proper care and attention you can expect to make a full recovery. The time to be more worried is when there are tell tale signs of a deeper problem. These include pain in both ankles ebbing and flowing together, and the problem being more severe in the morning.
In this case, there exists the very real possibility that you have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an incurable and extremely debilitating condition. It involves the body attacking itself through the immune system, which sends antibodies to attack cartilage in the joints. As the illness progresses, it is more than likely to spread to other parts of the body. Long term treatment of this condition usually involves synthetic drugs as well as lifestyle improvements. Losing weight and gentle water based exercise can help alleviate ankle joint pain.
Joint and muscle pain relief is possible no matter what the condition. There are many different options for both natural and synthetic treatment, and for soothing manipulation of the body. The one essential consideration is to make sure that any pain relieving treatment applied is not just covering up and masking the trouble. It is quite possible, for example, for someone to take a pain suppressing drug, and be able to move their arm in a way which gave then pain before. But, the pain may have been a warning.
It may be that the lack of pain will only encourage the patient to do the very thing which would make the condition worse, while the drug is preventing the body from issuing the necessary signal to the brain to stop the activity. By all means use pain killing drugs to gain immediate relief when needed, but if the pain continues it becomes imperative to see a physician and get a proper diagnosis. Once the exact cause of the pain is known, it becomes far safer to both treat the underlying causes, and to relieve the resulting symptoms.
One of the best examples of a situation where proper diagnosis is essential is in massage and exercise therapy. There are some forms of joint pain which are soothed and eased by manipulation, and others which are aggravated and made worse by it. To allow for the possibility of relief joint pain must be diagnosed correctly, and to that end there are several possibilities. It is more than likely that your physician will use some of the methods which have been used for centuries, such as asking for your medical history and physically examining the joint, and some more modern additions.
The X-ray has become somewhat controversial, in that there are many who believe that its excessive can be a health risk in its own right, but there is no doubt that it has a valid place in diagnostics. There are other similar photo imaging techniques which have been developed since the X-ray which can give even clearer insight into what may be causing the problem. Modern technology has also given us the ability to actually see inside the human body through arthroscopy, and this diagnostic tool may well be used in a case of uncertainty.
The most effective form of treatment for many joint conditions is simply rest. Joint inflammation is often just an aggravation of the area through over use and repetitive strain. This process can be aided by soothing warm baths, which work really well because the warm water contacts every part of the body, and then by gentle exercising and massaging. The important consideration here is to make sure you listen to your body, and stop at the appropriate time. Done properly, light massage can be really effective at joint and muscle pain relief.