The ankle, a hinge joint that connects your tibia and fibula (major leg bones) to your feet gives you stability and aids foot mobility. Ankle pain is common, and if unattended it can cause you major problems in the future. A study released by the American Podiatric Medical Association in 2014 revealed that 83 percent of Americans suffer regular foot pain and only a third would seek expert opinion from a podiatrist, which is a very concerning behavior.
Foot and ankle pain is common among children, and if you do not address it properly, it can result in malfunction or chronic pain. One of the most common causes of ankle pain for children is a flat foot, which means a child does not have a normal arch. Usually, it does not appear until the age of 2 or 3, and the child may complain of cramping on their ankle, heel or arch. A podiatrist will examine the feet and ankles and recommend a form of treatment, the most common being physical therapy to help the child work on their strength in their ankles and feet.
Adolescence comes with accelerated growth spurts that can cause what doctors call growing pains. Sometimes a teenager will experience foot and ankle pain associated with growth plate centers. These are flat, thin and crescent-shaped growth centers separating cartilage from a bone in the ends of children's bones. As a child approaches puberty, these growth centers turn into bone or bony tissue. In the more active years of puberty, between the age of 8 and twelve, a child may limp and complain of the heel and ankle pain which stems from overusing these parts, especially if they participate in aggressive sports like soccer. If these pains persist longer than a week, do not hesitate to contact a podiatrist who will check for possible fractures or dislocated growth plate, a condition that can cause permanent joint deformation.
Adults and Older People
Adults are more prone to foot challenges like blisters, corns, ankle pain and infections as the skin becomes less elastic and thinner. While painful or uncomfortable ankles and feet are a natural part of aging, a doctor can help alleviate the discomfort through treatment and advice on feet care. Older people are also prone to common causes of ankle pain such as a sprain or strain, arthritis, tendon sheath inflammation or gout. Besides staying physically active and getting all proper nutrients, seeing a podiatrist at least once every year is a recommended for healthy feet among adults and old people.
Ankle pain can have a profound effect on the quality of your life including restricting your ability to move or do the physical things that you enjoy. The good news is that 76 percent of people who visited a podiatrist in a survey published in 2014 said they received an effective treatment that helped their foot or ankle pains and related issues go away.