Ankle

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Ankle joint pain from injuries

Any injury to the joint that requires support will be painful, and swelling is inevitable at this end of the lymphatic system. Pain in the ankle can result from inflammation or injury to any of the bony, ligamentous, cartilage structures in the ankle region. Where previously a walking cast may have been required, now optimum therapy is possible with modern ankle braces that allow more natural mobilization.

Anatomy: the bones of the ankle

The ankle joint ensures that we can move our feet up and down and to the side. It consists of upper and lower joints.

The upper joint consists of the shinbone (tibia), the fibula and the talus. The lower joint is formed by the talus, the calcaneus and the navicular bone. Many ligaments connect these five bones together and stabilize the joint.

There's a high potential for injury here

Tendon tears​

The tendons connect muscles to bones and transmit the forces to the skeletal system. They consist of collagenous connective tissue fibers that are slightly sinuous when not under tension and thus enable a damping of the transmission of forces to the bone.

Tendon sheaths​

The tendon sheaths are tubes filled with lubricating fluid through which the tendons glide. They are
found wherever tendons run at angle or pass over bones. This reduces the
friction between the tendons and the surrounding tissues when they move.

Ankle ligament damage​

Joints are held securely by ligaments. Ligaments are connective tissue connections between two bones that help stabilize the joint. In general, they are relatively inelastic, which means they become lax or rupture completely if they are overstretched.

Ligament injuries of the knee joint are common sports injuries. The cruciate ligaments are usually overstretched or ruptured by direct or indirect trauma, for example, when rotation movement of the knee joint is abruptly stopped.

Ligament injuries of the ankle joint also often happen during sporting activities. Ruptures of the lateral ligaments and capsular injuries in the ankle joint occur most often when the ankle is bent when landing.

Relieve tension on tendons

To enable the tendon to heal quickly, it is important to relieve any stresses and strains on it. The Achilles tendon support, Achimed® from medi, can help with this.

Furthermore, a number of measures can also help inflammation:

  •    Massage
  •    Stretching and strengthening exercises
  •    Anti-inflammatory ointments
  •    Physiotherapy therapy
  •    Ultrasonography
  •    Cooling
  •    Acupuncture

Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy often occurs after activities exerting unusually heavy strain and can lead to severely restricted joint mobility.

Causes of tendinopathies​

Tendons are fibrous bands of connective tissue that connect muscles to bones. Although they consist of strong collagen, fiber connective tissue can easily be overstretched or even torn by over straining.

This often affects the patellar and Achilles tendons after sports that involve intensive jumping or running and the insertions of the forearm muscles in those who use PC mice for long hours at work.

As a rule, the pain initially only onsets after overuse, but, over time, those affected also become aware of the pain, while they are playing sports or even during simple everyday activities. In some cases, carefully dosed specific exercises to strengthen the tendon for future strain are more advisable than complete rest.

Anatomy of the largest tendon in the body​

The calf muscle consists of three sections, which join in the lower part of the calf to form the Achilles tendon, which inserts into the calcaneus. The Achilles tendon is about 1.5 cm long and transmits the calf muscle power to the bone – in particular to the foot, i.e,. the heel.

This location must withstand very high strain, especially when jumping and landing. A force equal to eight times your own body weight acts on the Achilles tendon when you run, for example.

Signs And Symptoms​

The classic symptoms of achillodynia are severe pain, swelling and extreme sensitivity when pressure is applied. Initially these symptoms occur when beginning exercise and usually disappear once you have warmed up. The pain is typically not felt at the heel, but a little above it. This is where the body defends itself against overuse by increasing the volume of the weakened connective tissues. But despite this thickening, the tendon is not protected against overuse any better than before. In fact, quite the opposite.

Risk Factors And Causes​

Symptoms occur most often when the tendon is overworked or generally weak.

As the most common runner’s injury, achillodynia usually starts after individuals have trained too hard and overworked the tendon. Unusual stresses, such as running on uneven ground, also play a role. But runners and other athletes are not the only people to suffer Achilles tendon symptoms. Being overweight can also put too much strain on an Achilles tendons.

Other causes can be from orthopedic foot deformities – such as a valgus foot – or even wearing the wrong footwear. Other factors include the taking of certain antibiotics and smoking – this can make the tendons more susceptible and weaker.

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