Why does your ankle hurt? There are three good possible reasons you have pain and tenderness in your ankle because there are three types of tendons in the ankle: Achilles tendonitis, Posterior Tibial Tendonitis and Peroneal Tendonitis.
Most of us are only familiar with the Achilles tendon because of the story involving the mythical Greek warrior, Achilles but there are three different types of tendonitis.
Here are some key differences between symptoms of tendon injuries, depending on where you may be experiencing ankle pain:
1. Does the back of your ankle hurt? You may have injured your Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is the ankle's workhorse. If you're moving your foot, chances are that your Achilles tendon is involved, so you'll feel pain at the rear of your ankle with every step if you've injured your Achilles tendon. There are many variations even within an Achilles tendon injury from the severity of the injury (inflammation vs. partial or complete tear etc.) to the location of the injury as it can be at the insertion point to the heel or in the middle of the tendon. Only a doctor can help you figure out exactly what's going on for you - especially if you've heard a pop at the heel - it's time to see the doctor.
2. Does the inside of your ankle hurt? You may be experiencing posterior tibial tendonitis.
The posterior tibial tendon is involved in supporting the foot and the arches, so if you've overloaded your foot or have an overuse injury with pain running at the inside of your ankle, the posterior tibial tendon could be causing your grief.
3. Have you recently rolled your ankle? You may have a torn peroneal tendon.
There are two tendons running along the outside of the ankle which stabilize the ankle's outward movement. If these peroneal tendons are weak or you've rolled or twisted your ankle and you feel pain on the outer edge of your foot, you may have injured or torn one or both of the peroneal tendons.
Inflammation or injury to any of these tendons will not go unnoticed and can be in a variety of places on the foot or even the calf. The one thing we can tell you if the pain is on the underside of the foot, it's not likely a tendon issue but the culprit is more apt to be plantar fasciitis.
However, while the arches' needs aren't that different, the placement of the arches are different for every person. I could see three people with the same size shoe and custom fit three different orthotics.
The truth is, while many shoe manufacturers try, try as they might, even the best shoes are catered to an average arch and your arch may not be in the average position.
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