Ankle Pain At Night While Resting | 11 Powerful Truths About This Ailment
Ankle pain at night while resting can be a common problem for many people. It can literally keep you awake at night. Many people who suffer from chronic pain in the ankle wake up with a lot of discomforts when they try to rest at night. The reason for this is that when you’re lying down, your body weight is not being distributed evenly across the foot and leg.
This can cause significant pain in your ankles and feet if you have an injury or condition such as plantar fasciitis. If you suffer from ankle pain due to resting too much while laying down, there are some things that you can do to help ease the discomfort so that it doesn’t happen again.
If you are experiencing ankle pain during the night, there is a chance that you may have fallen asleep with your foot in an unnatural position. This can cause some serious damage to the tendons and ligaments surrounding your ankles such as iliotibial band syndrome or iliotibial band friction syndrome.
If this is the case, it will be very difficult for you to find relief from these injuries without professional help.
However, if your pain only occurs when resting at night and not directly after exercise, then here are three ways that I suggest you start treating it: by applying ice packs on the affected area; elevating your feet above hip level while sleeping, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
Let’s further dive into how you can alleviate the pain in your ankle while sleeping at night.
Old Ankle Injuries
An old ankle injury can be the culprit for your ankle pain at night while resting. If you have a history of ankle injuries, then this is especially true.
A common condition that plagues those who have had an old ankle injury is retrocalcaneal bursitis. This painful inflammation can lead to difficulty moving the ankle back and forth, as well as pain when you lie down at night.
If this is the case for you, then seek medical attention immediately. Treating your injury could require immobilization or surgery if the damage has been done by reoccurring small traumas rather than one large accident.
Over-pronation (flat feet)
This condition is really common in those who have been running a lot. When the foot rolls inward too much, it puts added pressure on the ankle joint and can cause pain when you try to roll over your feet at night.
If you feel pain in one particular area of your foot, for instance right on the outside of your ankle or around where your arch would be, then that is most likely due to flat feet.
Leg length discrepancy (more than 4mm)
Another common issue as we age is having one leg longer than another, but with regular shoes, this generally doesn’t cause any significant problems.
However, if you wear regular shoes all day and go barefoot during rest periods, then there may be an issue with one leg being longer than the other and this can lead to ankle pain at night when you rest.
If your leg length is not symmetrical (e.g., one leg is shorter than the other) or if there are anatomical variations, then this can lead to knee and hip pain, which will, in turn, cause ankle stiffness, an altered gait pattern, and back pain that may cause difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep.
Tarsal coalition (fusion of bones)
Fusion of two or more tarsal bones into a single structure can cause recurrent ankle sprains with little or no trauma because it prevents natural separation during weight-bearing activity.
In addition to causing acute ankle sprains from mild trauma, having a tarsal coalition can also slow down the dorsiflexion range of movement at the ankle.
This condition is more common in people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Down Syndrome, or other connective tissue disorders.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)
PTTD occurs when the posterior tibial muscle becomes irritated and inflamed, causing it to swell. It can also become weakened by injury or overuse; however, this is not always the case.
There are four degrees of severity for this condition: grade I (slight pain), grade II (moderate pain), grade III (more severe pain that limits daily activities), and grade IV (extreme pain that does not permit weight-bearing).
This occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue that runs from the front of the heel to the base of the toes, is inflamed. This can be due to overuse or trauma.
Continued stress on this area can lead to a complete tear in the fascia. The symptoms will vary depending upon the stage and degree of severity: early stages may only have minor pain in one foot, while later stages may present more severe pain in both feet simultaneously.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
This condition is brought about by the compression of a nerve, known as tibial nerve entrapment, which travels through an opening at the bottom of your foot (known as the tarsal tunnel) and through your ankle and behind the medial malleolus on the inside of your ankle.
Symptoms include pain or burning generally at night, as well as numbness and tingling down one foot.
Symptoms from a tear in the plantar fascia
Injury to the plantar fascia is usually accompanied by pain on the underside of the heel, which will increase with weight-bearing.
Some people also find that their feet become tired easily due to over-exertion of tendons and muscles that attach to this area. In more severe cases, a person may experience a clicking sensation every time they take a step.
This may indicate a rupture in one of these tendons.
How To Get Relief From Ankle Injuries To Sleep Well At Night
So we’ve outlined the possible causes of ankle pain at night while resting, but what are the best solutions to ensuring that you don’t experience ankle pain at night while sleeping?
There are a number of things that can be done to help you get rid of your ankle pain at night. This includes the following.
Take NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol or Acetaminophen
A doctor may also recommend something stronger for over-the-counter use, but remember to only take on recommendations from your doctor so you don’t risk injury or further damage.
To reduce swelling and inflammation, apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth around the injured area every few hours during the day for up to two days after the initial injury has occurred.
Cortisone injections are another option that will help reduce the symptoms of pain and inflammation overnight while sleeping with ankle injuries.
Your doctor will give you a prescription for this injection that you can take to a pharmacy and they will most likely be able to perform the injections.
If you have chronic pain in your ankles, seek a doctor’s help to treat the source of your pain. Chronic ankle sprains may require surgery if conservative treatments fail.
The best way for someone with an ankle injury or sprain is to rest from strenuous activity, such as running or weightlifting until the symptoms subside. Apply ice packs several times per day and whenever possible, avoid putting pressure on the area by wearing sturdy shoes with heels only slightly elevated off the ground.
Elevate your feet when resting and try not to sleep directly on them while laying in bed. Use pillows or blankets to support them.
If you still experience pain at night, it may be due to the way you rest. Sleeping with your ankle twisted slightly inward can cause inflammation or damage to tendons and ligaments in the joint.
Resting your legs on an ottoman while watching television or reading also results in ankle pain because this action flattens out the back of the heel and can irritate sensitive ligaments around the joint.
If sleeping on your stomach brings about pain, either sleep on your back or side to ease discomfort. You should also avoid resting one leg over another since this position compresses blood vessels that feed the area and inhibit circulation, which could lead to further complications such as deep vein thrombosis.
Take preventative measures to avoid and ease pain and stiffness in your ankles and knees. Always provide support to the area while resting, elevate the joint throughout the day, apply ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Readjust your sleeping position if you’re having difficulty breathing or find it hard to sleep due to discomfort. Use a pillow between your legs or one between your calves for more personalized support.
You should also get medical treatment from a doctor if symptoms of ankle injury such as bruising, redness, swelling, pain with weight-bearing activities last longer than two weeks so you can prevent further damage.