By Sam Ramsden/Sept. 6, 2021 1:18 pm EDT
With your ankles being one of the most active areas of the human body, experiencing ankle discomfort from time to time should come as no surprise. However, body pain in any form can be deeply concerning, and it’s always advised to seek medical attention if symptoms of pain worsen. But, what does it mean when your left ankle hurts?
Per Healthline, some of the most common causes of ankle pain include medical conditions such as arthritis, an injury, or a sprain. According to the National University of Health Sciences, a sprain in the ankle is the most common cause of ankle pain and makes up around 85% of all ankle injuries. Sprains occur in the ankle when tissues that connect bones, known as ligaments, tear or become overstretched.
Some other potential causes of ankle pain include the build-up of uric acid in the body, otherwise known as gout; nerve damage or injury, such as sciatica; blocked blood vessels; or an infection in the ankle joint.
If you experience ankle pain specifically in the left side, this could indicate an injury to the left ankle.
Here's when to seek medical attention for your ankle pain
According to WebMD, other potential causes of ankle pain include the autoimmune disease Lupus, a condition known as flat foot, ankle fracture, Achilles tendonitis, and chronic lateral ankle pain.
To treat your ankle discomfort at home, it is recommended to try the so-called RICE method, which includes resting your ankle when possible; applying ice to your ankle; compressing the ankle with a bandage; and elevating your ankle whenever possible, perhaps with a stack of pillows, for example.
Although most symptoms of ankle pain will pass fairly quickly and can be treated with simple at-home remedies, there could be a point when medical attention is required. Per Healthline, it is advised to contact your doctor if your ankle pain persists longer than a few days, if you experience extreme swelling or bruising, or you find it painful to apply any kind of pressure on the ankle.
By seeking medical attention, a doctor will hopefully be able to identify the cause of your ankle pain and begin the necessary treatment, which, in fairly extreme cases, could include ankle braces, specially designed shoes, or even surgery.
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