It is important to note that the ankle is comprised of various ligaments, tendons, bones and muscles. Even though the ankle is considered as a durable structure that can support the weight of the body, it is still susceptible to injuries and throbbing sensation even while engaging in low-impact activities such as walking. Since a throbbing ankle can be incapacitating, it is vital to fully understand the possible causes why it occurs while walking and how it can be relieved.
Signs and symptoms
In most cases, the individual will notice ankle throbbing on the exterior, interior or on both sides of the ankle. Some can also experience it around the Achilles tendon which is the tendon responsible for connecting the heel to the lower leg muscles.
The ankle throbbing can range from minor to severe. There is a tendency for the discomfort to worsen at the start of a walking session and reduces as he/she progresses. Other symptoms that can manifest include discoloration of the skin, instability, aching, tenderness as well as warmth, difficulty moving or walking and bruising.
What are the possible causes?
Always bear in mind that overuse is considered as the most common form of injury while exercising. This can occur if the individual overuses the tendons, muscles and ligaments in the ankle with excessive walking, long walks or not taking any breaks as needed.
Ankle throbbing can also occur if the individual sprains or strains a ligament or muscle in the ankle region by abruptly changing directions, walking on uneven terrain or tripping. There are also some medical conditions such as gout, Achilles tendinitis or arthritis that can also instigate ankle throbbing while walking.
Management for ankle throbbing
If an individual suffers from ankle throbbing, it is important to rest the affected ankle for about 48 hours. It should be wrapped using an elastic bandage or brace for immobilization which helps reduce the throbbing as well as prevent re-injury.
Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the affected ankle right away for about 15 minutes at a time every 3 hours. You can manage ankle throbbing, inflammation and pain by elevating the ankle on a few cushions or pillows, even while the individual is asleep. You can also provide acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce the symptoms. A doctor should be consulted once a medical condition is suspected such as tendinitis or gout.
You can prevent ankle throbbing with proper warm up with stretching or light aerobic activity before a walking routine. The individual must rotate the ankles and point the toes several toes several times before and after every walking session.
The individual can use supportive walking shoes that are flexible, has a low heel and provides adequate support to the arch. In addition, the best way to avoid an overuse injury is by cross-training with other activities such as cycling or swimming 1-2 times in a week.