Achilles tendinitis: the tendon along the back of the ankle becomes inflamed

  • Symptoms: pain the back of the ankle that is worse in the morning and after exercise, thickening of the tendon, swelling
  • Causes: sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise, tight calves, bone spurs

Gout: uric acid buildup in the blood results in crystals forming in and around joints

  • Symptoms: sudden severe pain in the ankle, swelling, redness, pain lasting 3 to 10 days after onset
  • Causes: diuretics, alcohol, family history, hypothyroidism, obesity, kidney problems

Osteoarthritis: joint cartilage and the underlying bone begin to degrade

  • Symptoms: pain and stiffness in the ankle, tenderness, grating or cracking feeling, limited motion
  • Causes: aging, family history

Rheumatoid arthritis: the lining of the joints becomes inflamed and irritated

  • Symptoms: throbbing, aching pain that is worse in the morning and after periods of inactivity, stiffness in the joint, swelling, redness
  • Causes: family history, high estrogen levels, smoking

Sprained ankle: ankle ligaments have stretched more than normal, but are not permanently damaged

  • Symptoms: pain around the ankle, swelling, bruising, unable to put weight on the ankle, tenderness
  • Causes: sudden increase in activity level, abrupt change in direction or speed, landing awkwardly, collisions with an object or other person