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Every person who has experienced ankle pain at night knows that it is a quite painful and unpleasant experience. It is not uncommon for people who experience to stay awake the whole night. There are lots of causes of ankle pain at night. It may be a small fracture that causes the pain but it may also be arthritis.

Role of Ankle in Human Body

Every person knows how important the ankle is for the human structure because it is a weight-bearing joint. Ankle also connects the foot with the leg. Ligaments, tendons and muscles are the things that bound the ankle. Thanks to the ankle, the foot is able to move in two directions, away from the body and towards it. In most cases of ankle pain during night the cause is a sprain of the ankle or a twist inside it that occurred due to an injury or a small tear in the ligaments.

Symptoms of Ankle Pain at Night

There are several symptoms that show to ankle pain and the ones that occur most often are the pain itself, swelling, bruising and deformity around the joint. Deformity usually occurs due to rupture or damage of tendons, cartilage and blood vessels in the ankle. It is not uncommon for the pain to spread to the foot, lower leg, knee and in some cases even the hip.

Causes of ankle pain at night

There are lots of causes of ankle pain at night and some occur more than others. Plantar fasciitis is one of the causes that occur quite often. It is a condition that occurs when a person excessively stretches the plantar fasciitis muscles. This condition is not inflammatory.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and has been estimated to affect about two million people in the US, resulting in more than one million visits to both primary care physicians and foot specialists.

Plantar fasciitis affects both sedentary and athletic people and is thought to result from chronic overload either from lifestyle or exercise. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis:

  • Obesity
  • Pes planus (flat feet)
  • Pes cavus (high-arched feet)
  • Shortened Achilles tendon
  • Overpronation (inward roll)
  • Limited ankle dorsiflexion
  • Weak intrinsic muscles of the foot
  • Weak plantar flexor muscles
  • Poor biomechanics or alignment
  • Deconditioning
  • Hard surface
  • Walking barefoot
  • Prolonged weight bearing
  • Inadequate stretching
  • Poor footwear
✓ Fact confirmed: Plantar Fasciitis: A Concise Review Emily N Schwartz, MD; 2014, winter

Ligament sprain is another cause of ankle pain and it occurs when a person suddenly moves or twists the foot sideways. This injury can happen during exercising, walking or taking a misstep. In these situations, ankle swelling and pain are almost always present.

Stress fracture is another cause of ankle pain at night. People should know that stress fracture is not a complete fracture. Repeated stress on the bones in the foot is the main cause of this type of fracture. Gout, poor circulation and arthritis are also known to cause ankle pain.


When people already feel the pain, they should elevate the foot in order to minimize the swelling. Wearing proper shoes is another way to avoid causing discomfort to the foot. Medications are also used quite often in these situations. There are also some other ways of treatment.

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