Ankle arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, deformity and instability in the ankle joint. @Shutterstock
Usually, when we talk about arthritis, we tend to associate it with painful knees, stiff fingers or an inflexible hip. But arthritis can affect the ankle too. It is fairly common but equally painful. It can affect your daily life because it takes a toll on your mobility and quality of life. Ankle arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, deformity and instability in the ankle joint. It affects the tibiotalar joint, which forms between the shin bone (tibia) and ankle bone (talus). There is no cure for this condition, but medications help with the symptoms. There are drugs that can slow down bone loss, relieve inflammation, and ease pain. But at the same time, you may also try out a few home remedies that are known to offer relief from the pain of this debilitating condition. Also Read – Celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala shares exercises for arthritis patients
Hot and cold therapy
You can apply a heating pad to your affected ankle joint to get relief. This will boost circulation and offer relief from stiff joints and aching muscles. A cold pack will compress the blood vessels, which will slow down circulation. This, in turn, will reduce the swelling and numb the pain. You may use hot and cold therapy alternatively to get relief. But if you notice any injury in the skin, stop immediately. Be careful not to use an ice pack for more than 10 minutes at a time. Also Read – Don’t delay your arthritis pain, seek timely intervention
Focus on your diet
You diet plays an important role in fighting inflammation of the joints. Consult your doctor about starting a vitamin D supplement. Add omega-3 rich foods to your diet. You will get this nutrient from nuts, seeds and cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. Eat more of fruits and veggies. This will help you overcome the pain to a great extent. Also Read – Get quick relief from sciatica pain with these stretches and exercises
Get a soothing massage
According to the Arthritis Foundation, regularly massaging the muscles and joints of the ankle can significantly soothe the debilitating pain. But be sure to get the massage from a certified masseur. Massage will inhibit the production of the stress hormone cortisol and the neurotransmitter substance P, which has an association with pain. It also boosts levels of the hormone serotonin, which improves mood. You can also learn the technique and give yourself a massage every day. But consult your doctor before doing this.
Keep your feet elevated
To reduce swelling in your ankles, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart, especially at night. Just prop up two pillows below your feet while sleeping. This helps drain the excess fluid from the ankles. You can also put your feet up on a stool or another chair while sitting for extended period of time. You will find that it helps a lot.
Try some ankle exercises
There are some specific exercises that can help with the stiffness. Lie down on your back and try rotating your ankle first in a clockwise direction and then in an anti-clockwise direction. You can also do a up and down movement of your ankles while lying down on your back. Don’t force yourself. Gradually, you will be able to expand your range of motion with regular exercise.