3 top issues that cause ankle pain when you’re flexing your foot up

Has a recurring pain in your ankle been a source of frequent discomfort for you? Does this ankle pain flare up when you flex your foot? It could be a number of ankle conditions, including ankle sprain, stress fracture and nerve compression. Anywhere from 9% to 15% of adults in the U.S. experience ankle pain. It’s a common yet frustrating condition to experience. If you haven’t yet identified the cause of your ankle pain, you can learn more about what may be behind it and how a physical therapist may help you.

Which issues can cause ankle pain to occur when you flex your foot upward?

Some top causes of ankle pain when flexing your foot upward include:

  • Ankle sprainAnkle sprains occur when the ligaments in the ankle suddenly become torn or stretched beyond their capacity. Sprains typically occur during physical activity. They happen when a person lands on their ankle wrong, the ligament is overused, or when it’s pivoted to an unusual angle too quickly. Pain from an ankle sprain can sometimes become more pronounced when flexing the foot upward.
  • Ankle fracture — Bone fractures are another common cause of ankle pain that occurs when flexing your foot upward. A broken bone in the ankle or stress fracture in the ankle is usually the result of trauma or overuse. Some cases of bone fractures can be caused by bone disease, like osteoporosis. Ankle fractures, whether big or small, have the potential to cause pain that occurs when flexing the foot.
  • Nerve compression — Nerve entrapment or compression is capable of causing pain in the ankle that occurs when you flex your foot. Morton’s neuroma can cause nerve entrapment in the toes, which can be felt in the ankle. Tarsal tunnel syndrome involves the compression of the tibial nerve in the ankle and may cause pain in the feet or while moving the feet.

Can a physical therapist help my ankle pain when I flex my foot up?

Physical therapy is a great resource for anyone who experiences ankle pain. A PT is an expert in ankle and foot mechanics and can improve the pain levels of your ankle for maximum functionality. Here’s how a physical therapist can improve your ankle:

  • Reducing inflammation — One way that a physical therapist can help your ankle pain is by reducing inflammation. They use exercise to improve movement and encourage blood flow to areas of inflammation, like the ankle. Increased blood flow can help reduce pain and swelling while improving recovery time. 
  • Manual therapyManual therapy is a technique that involves a physical therapist manually manipulating the tissue and joints in the musculoskeletal system to achieve improved functionality and reduced pain.  
  • Range-of-motion exercises — Patients with ankle pain often limit movement in their ankles to avoid experiencing discomfort. A physical therapist can use exercises to help patients improve their range of motion without experiencing excess pain.
  • Strength-building exercises — Building strength in the muscles around the ankle joints and ligaments can better help support them. It can also improve the ability of the ankle to bear heavy loads and may protect it from future injury.
  • Balance and gait training — Some patients with ankle pain that occurs when the foot is flexed upward will develop improper balance and gait patterns. A physical therapist can help patients with poor balance and gait develop healthier walking habits and improve any imbalances they may have developed while avoiding walking on their affected ankle.

Allow Excel Sports & Physical Therapy to improve your ankle condition

Excel Sports & Physical Therapy can help your ankle condition improve. Many of our locations can effectively treat patients across St. Charles County, Warren County and St. Louis County. We strive always to give our patients treatment of the highest quality. Whether you’re experiencing a stress fracture, a pinched nerve or another issue, we’ll do our best to improve your pain levels and help you regain function in your ankle and foot.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.