Ankle pain is caused by injury to the ligaments, bones or tendons in the area, according to Mayo Clinic. A sprain is a common cause of ankle pain and often occurs when the ankle joint is forcefully bent or twisted. Other causes may include arthritis, gout, bursitis or bone spurs.
Even minor injuries to the ankle can be painful, but it is usually safe to treat the ankle at home, explains Mayo Clinic. An exception to this is for those who have severe pain or swelling, have a deformity or cannot put any weight on the ankle. This is also the case if there is an open wound or signs of infection, such as a fever, warmth or redness around the ankle. In this case, emergency medical assistance is required.
Treating the ankle pain at home involves resting the ankle, applying ice, using a compression bandage and elevating the ankle, states Mayo Clinic. Over-the-counter pain medication such as naproxen and ibuprofen is also recommended. It is not unusual for an injured ankle to be painful or swollen following activity or sleep, even after home care has been given. A person should schedule an office visit with a doctor if the ankle swelling does not improve within five days of beginning home treatment or if pain doesn't cease within a few weeks.