• Home
  • Illnesses
  • Injuries
  • Services
  • Insurance and Self Pay
  • Our Team
  • Patient Portal
  • Blog


Teri Lou, December 15 2022

What Can Cause Ankle Pain Without Injury?

Learn reasons for ankle pain and swelling without apparent injury 

Ankle pain without trauma can happen for multiple reasons and cause difficulty in your day-to-day life. However, you do not need to stay in pain as it's very easy to see a doctor to assess the ankle and find out if you have a serious issue. Get answers to your questions and decide if your ankle pain warrants a visit to your doctor or urgent care. 

Can you have ankle pain without an injury?

Unfortunately, ankle pain can occur without an injury. The most common ankle issues are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Achilles tendonitis, lupus, and irregular arches. Most often, these ankle injures occur for older individuals but can also affect anyone with fluctuations in weight, new shoes, and many other issues.

Any form of pain or discomfort affecting any area of the ankle is referred to as ankle pain. Ankle discomfort can occur for a variety of reasons. Injury, arthritis, and normal wear and tear are the most typical causes. You may experience pain or stiffness anywhere around the ankle, depending on the cause. It's possible that your ankle will swell, and you will not be able to put any weight on the ankle. 

What can cause ankle pain without injury?

Here are some of the more common reasons for experiencing ankle pain without injury. 

What does arthritis in the ankle feel like?

Pain, swelling, deformity, and instability in the ankle joint are all symptoms of ankle arthritis. In addition, the tibiotalar joint, which connects the shin bone (tibia) to the ankle bone, is affected by ankle arthritis (talus). If you have arthritis, it can feel like stiffness or swelling and may loosen slightly with exercise. Additionally, you could experience ankle popping or crunching, instability, and slower walking. Lastly, changes in weather and pressure can cause twinging in the ankle. 

What are the signs of osteoporosis in the ankle?

Unusual foot and ankle fractures could be the first indicator of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning condition that affects more than 28 million Americans and causes 1.5 million bone fractures each year. Apart from long-term deformity, osteoporosis-related spine fractures can induce "band-like" pain on both sides of the body at the level of the shattered spinal vertebrae. In addition, when a bone fractures away from the spine, it creates pain and soreness in the fractured ankle. Swelling, redness, and bruising are also possible in the area.

What does nerve damage in the ankle feel like?

Symptoms of ankle nerve damage depend on the cause, but most people will experience numbness, a sharp or burning pain, a tingling sensation like when the foot goes numb, and weakness in the foot. When a nerve is compressed, it can swell or have abnormal growth, like a lump or a swollen vein. 

Why can ankle pain come and go?

Ankle pain can come and go depending on the condition causing the pain. Additionally, changes in the weather or air pressure can affect the ankle, too, depending on the condition. Therefore, while people may experience arthritis in various forms, this does not always translate to chronic pain by frequent pain. 

Next, long-term use of the ankle can increase pain but stop once you stop using the ankle. People who have injured their ankles in the past may occasionally feel pain. Even poor shoes or repetitive motions can cause issues, as can increase exercise or incorrect positions. If you are unsure of the cause of ankle pain, it's best to make an appointment with your primary care physician. 

Why is the ankle prone to pain?

Our ankles often work from walking to exercise and more. Furthermore, we choose shoes based on style instead of by support levels. As your ankles are constantly working, pain is almost inevitable. You can, however, make decisions to help reduce the possibility of pain in the ankle. 

Start by wearing proper shoes and stretching regularly. Next, listen to your body as it will tell you when it's time to make a change. Work on your balance too. Many non-stressful forms of exercise can strengthen the ankle, like yoga, pilates, and more. Avoid running or walking on uneven surfaces, too, as these can roll the ankle and cause injury.

How can I relieve ankle pain?

The majority of ankle discomfort improves with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. For at-home remedies for ankle pain, follow your provider's advice. The RICE approach may be suggested by your healthcare practitioner (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). See your provider if the pain is severe or your ankle still bothers after a few days of at-home care.

Over-the-counter medications can help with ankle pain too. Most importantly, buy supportive footwear. Make sure your shoes give your feet and ankles enough support. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals, or shoes with too much wiggle room. When participating in sports, it is extremely vital to wear appropriate footwear. Basketball and volleyball, for example, can cause ankle injuries if the proper footwear is not worn.

Exercises loosen up the soft tissues in your feet, which helps to reduce discomfort. Because tightness in the Achilles tendon can sometimes lead to tightness in the plantar fascia, these areas are very critical to address. Continue reading for a list of pain-relieving exercises. In addition, you can seek physical therapy to learn the correct exercises and prevent future injury. 

Are ankle injuries serious?

Not all ankle injuries are serious, but as you use your ankle often, you should get the injury assessed. If your symptoms do not improve within a day or two after an ankle injury, you should seek medical attention from a skilled ankle expert. Rest and good home care can help minor ankle injuries heal. When your ankle does not work correctly, it can affect your ability to walk and almost every other form of movement, meaning you should take it seriously if it does not improve in a couple of days. 

Why choose Portland Urgent Care for ankle pain treatment?

To serve more customers, Portland Urgent Care works with various insurance companies. We also use various integrated medical resources that allow us to serve you. We provide same-day and walk-in appointments with the best experts for rapid relief for ankle pain. To manage pain and prevent chronic injuries, get a personalized treatment plan. Finally, together with imaging and x-rays, an in-house chiropractor can assist in diagnosing and determining the best course of action for recuperation.


Ankle pain can be a sign of a variety of injuries and illnesses. Walking can be difficult or impossible due to swelling, stiffness, and pain. Most ankle injuries improve with simple home remedies like elevating your foot and getting lots of rest. Ankle discomfort normally does not necessitate surgery. Call Portland Urgent Care if the pain is severe, you have a lot of swelling, or it does not go away after a few days.

Looking To Solve or Relieve Pain? Visit Portland Urgent Care for the Following Services:

Stomach Pain

Headaches & Migraines

Back Pain

Neck Pain

Knee Pain

Sprains & Strains

Sore Throat

Earaches & Ear Infections

Read More Pain Related Blogs from Portland Urgent Care

Can I Go To Urgent Care For Chest Pain?

What Can Cause Knee Pain Without Injury?

What Causes Migraine Headaches?

Written by

Teri Lou

Previous Can I Go To Urgent Care For UTI?
Next Wrist Ligament Injuries