Alternative Treatments for Ankle Pain

If you’re dealing with extreme ankle pain and are looking for an alternative to taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, you’ve come to the right place! Several potential solutions can help alleviate your ankle pain while avoiding the risks associated with antibiotics or other treatments.

This blog will explore some of these alternatives to traditional medication and discuss how they could help reduce discomfort and make getting back on track easier. Whether it’s physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, or acupuncture, read on as we look at different ways to address your chronic ankle pain safely yet effectively.

Causes of Ankle Pain

You can experience ankle pain due to a variety of factors, including:

  1. Injuries: Sprains, strains, fractures, and other injuries can cause ankle pain. A sprained ankle is a common cause of ankle pain and occurs when the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together are stretched or torn.
  2. Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition causing inflammation and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are types of arthritis that might affect the ankle joint.
  3. Tendonitis: Tendonitis means inflammation of the tendons, the thick cords that attach muscles to bones. Achilles tendonitis is a common cause of ankle pain.
  4. Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing pain in the foot heel. This can also cause ankle pain as the pain may radiate up the leg.
  5. Nerve damage: Nerve damage in the ankle can cause pain, tingling, and numbness. This may be caused by peripheral neuropathy or a pinched nerve.
  6. Overuse: Overuse of the ankle joint can lead to pain and discomfort. This is common in athletes who participate in running, jumping, and pivoting activities.
  7. Infections: Infections can cause swelling, redness, and pain in the ankle joint. Septic arthritis is an infection in the ankle joint that might cause severe pain and inflammation.

Traditional Treatments for Ankle Pain

Several traditional methods of ankle pain treatment have been used for many years. Here are some examples:

  1. Rest: Resting the affected ankle is a common treatment for ankle pain. This can help reduce inflammation and let the injured area heal.
  2. Ice: Applying wrapped ice to the ankle can help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Wrap an ice pack in a soft towel and place it on the ankle for 20 minutes, several times daily.
  3. Compression: A compression bandage or wrap can help reduce swelling and support the ankle. This can help prevent further injury.
  4. Elevation: Elevating the ankle above the heart level can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
  5. Massage: Gentle massage (dry or with oil) is a common treatment for ankle pain and can help increase blood circulation and reduce pain in the ankle.
  6. Acupuncture: Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine practice, involves injecting thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing. It is often found to be effective in treating ankle pain.
  7. Herbal remedies: Certain natural herbs, such as turmeric and ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat ankle pain. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before using herbal remedies.

It is important to note that while traditional methods can help treat ankle pain, they should not replace medical treatment if the pain is severe or persistent.

Alternative Treatments for Ankle Pain

There are several alternative methods for ankle pain treatment that you may find helpful. Here are some examples:

  1. Chiropractic care: Chiropractors use spinal adjustments and other manual therapies to treat musculoskeletal conditions, including ankle pain.
  2. Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the ankle. This can be especially helpful for people who have suffered an ankle injury.
  3. Yoga and stretching: Certain yoga poses and stretching exercises, such as the child’s or cow face pose, can help improve ankle mobility and reduce pain.
  4. Acupressure: Acupressure involves applying rhythmic, controlled pressure to specific points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  5. Essential oils: Certain essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint, have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can be helpful for ankle pain. They can be applied topically or diffused in a room.
  6. Mind-body techniques: Mind-body techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help to reduce stress and tension in the body, which can contribute to pain.

Prevention of Ankle Pain

These treatments may not be useful to you now if your ankles are fine, but you may need them if you experience ankle pain. However, you can take the following steps to help prevent ankle pain:

  1. Wear proper footwear: Choose shoes that fit well, have good arch support, and are appropriate for your activity. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight for long periods.
  2. Warm up before exercise: Always warm up before engaging in physical activity. This can include gentle stretching, walking, or jogging. Similarly, cooling down or stretching after working out is necessary to return to normalcy.
  3. Strengthen the ankle: Strengthening exercises can help improve the ankle’s stability and prevent injury. Examples include calf raises and ankle circles.
  4. Move mindfully: Pay attention to your body movements and avoid sudden changes in direction or movement that could cause injury.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity can put extra stress on the joints, including the ankle. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of ankle pain.
  6. Use proper technique: If you engage in activities that involve jumping, landing, or pivoting, make sure to use proper technique to reduce the risk of injury.

By following these steps, you can help to reduce the risk of ankle pain and injury. If you experience persistent or severe ankle pain, it is important to seek medical attention.


Ultimately, having ankle pain can be irritating and uncomfortable; however, there are many ways to address this issue with alternative medicine safely and effectively. Acupuncture, cryotherapy, infrared therapy, and other treatments may be beneficial depending on the individual and the severity of the condition. There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to ankle pain treatment. Thus, researching alternative treatments with the guidance of a professional may give you peace of mind by knowing that your best interest is at heart!

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