Why ankle pain occurs while walking?

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The ankle is a commonly damaged joint in the body. The repeated flexion and extension of the ankle while walking can result to pain and injury or even worsen a current condition.


The ankle pain might be an indication of osteoarthritis, ankle sprain and tendinitis. The treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications, application of ice and adequate rest. A doctor must be consulted if the discomfort continues despite these measures.

Ankle sprain

A sprain arises if the ligaments neighboring the ankle are excessively stretched or torn. Turning the ankle or accidentally stepping in a hole can lead to a mild to severe sprain.

A sprain arises if the ligaments neighboring the ankle are excessively stretched or torn.

Aside from the pain, there is also swelling, reduced range of motion and bruising. A sprain can also result to an evident limp while walking and prevents the individual from performing other activities such as jumping and running.

Ankle pain due to impingement syndrome

Impingement syndrome often occurs if the nerves or tendons surrounding the ankle are crushed which results to lingering pain.

Dancers, runners, volleyball players and high jumpers are prone to develop this condition. The repeated extension and flexion of the foot and ankle while walking can cause the crushing of the tendons and nerves.


Tendinitis occurs once the tendons are irritated and inflamed. This is a long-lasting or overuse injury brought about by repeated motions. Contributing factors include the age, increasing the training intensity and over-training.

The ankle pain can be accompanied by swelling and popping sensation. In advanced cases, there is a continuous ache that is aggravated by running, walking and jumping.


Previous ankle injuries, overuse and the normal wear and tear can lead to the development of osteoarthritis over time. This condition is brought about by the gradual deterioration of the ankle cartilage. The usual symptoms include a grinding sensation during movement, deep ankle pain, joint rigidity and instability.


If the ankle pain is due to a minor injury, the RICE method can be used but seek medical care if the discomfort persists.

Depending on the seriousness and main cause of the ankle pain, the doctor might suggest NSAIDs, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, orthotics and surgery.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on ankle pain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the causes of pain, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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