How I Cured My Chronic Ankle Pain

Actually, it was not me. Andrea gets all the credit for this one!

My chronic ankle pain started four years ago when I was playing soccer with my co-workers, and I got an ankle sprain that I did not think was that bad. I was barely feeling the acute pain after only a couple of days: a happily swift recovery.

Unfortunately, I began to notice that I had a twinge of pain in my ankle when I walked on it. It would be particularly bad after getting up from a chair and it would come and go. It never annoyed me enough to seek help but I asked Andrea (my girlfriend and student of physical therapy at the time) to look at it. She performed all the ankle tests she knew and none of them produced any obvious results. It seemed like my ankle was strong and healthy. The question was, why was the pain still there though? It would bother me occasionally and at some point I was resigned to having these ankle pains for the rest of my life.

Luckily for me though, a physical therapy student eventually becomes an experienced physical therapist. Experienced physical therapists know that the body is a complex system with the parts of the body connected in a chain. Also, pain felt in one place might be caused by a problem in another.

One night, I said "I wonder if I will have this ankle pain forever." Andrea said, "You know, I wonder if it is actually your hip." She did a couple of tests and suggested some hip strengthening exercises that I could do that might help.

It amazes me that since that night, I basically have had no episodes of this chronic pain that had been slightly annoying me for almost three years. That is some precision knowledge deployment there! As long as I keep my hip strong, I probably will never have to feel that pain again.

I think a lot of people might be able to benefit from similar experiences. Do not stay quiet about your chronic pains, even if they are small. Research them, try doing light strengthening exercises to help alleviate the issue. If it does not get better, seek the advice of your doctor or physical therapist. The longer you wait to treat a chronic malady the harder it will be to remediate.

published 2015-04-08

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