Simple Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy

By P. Sze | Last updated: December 11, 2022

8 Effective Acupressure Points For Ankle Pain That Anybody Can Use

Acupressure is a common and effective practice from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Closely related to acupuncture, acupressure is the use of fingers and palms to target pressure points throughout the body. These points, commonly referred to as “acupoints” or “acupressure points”, lay on meridians in the body. Meridians are pathways that carry energy or “qi” throughout the body. Each meridian corresponds to a major organ (such as the lungs or small intestine) that can promote the movement of energy and blood through that organ and their corresponding pathways in the body.

The movement of energy and blood, as stimulated by pressure points, promotes healing and tranquility in the body. There are thousands, if not millions, of testimonials showing results of acupressure: everything from TMJ to back pain to insomnia can be helped. In this article, we are helping those of you with ankle problems. If you experience chronic ankle pain and issues, or just once in a while feel a tweak, these acupressure points for ankle pain can be a saving grace. 

Is Acupuncture Good For Ankle Pain?

Photo by Ray Piedra from Pexels

Acupuncture can be great for ankle pain. Researchers in China conducted a study on how the acupuncture of one specific acupoint affected ankle pain. They discovered that 45% of people received effective treatment and healing when stimulating the acupoint in combination with other therapies, while only 41% of people were healed with just the other therapies. This article cites another reference with similar results (85% effectiveness with the acupuncture, 65% effectiveness without the acupuncture). 

Can Acupuncture Help A Sprained Ankle?

Not only can acupuncture be good for ankle pain, but it can also help specifically with a sprained ankle. It’s a common and frustrating injury that can happen to anyone – luckily acupuncture and acupressure can help. One scientific study shows conclusively that acupuncture helps an ankle sprain and another shows that 90% of physicians who use acupuncture to treat ankle sprains saw efficacy in the procedures. Acupuncture and acupressure can help you recover quickly from a sprained ankle.

The Acupressure Points For Ankle Pain

Acupressure for ankle arthritis

Acupoint: KI-3 (Other Names: Kidney-3/Tai Xi/Supreme Stream)

The Great Stream can help greatly with arthritis around the ankle, and is also included on our list of acupressure points for Parkinson disease. Ki-3 can also help with insomnia, headaches, toothaches, lumbar pain, irregular menstruation, and more. This acupoint can accomplish all these feats by tonifying the kidneys and moving energy,

Located on the ankle, the Ki-3 acupoint is very easy to find and stimulate. Find the knobby ankle bone on the inside of your leg, then move your finger back about one finger’s width towards your achilles tendon. You have successfully found this acupoint.

Acupoint: ST-41 (Other Names: Stomach-41/Jie Xi/Stream Divide)

The Dividing Cleft acupoint, located on the stomach meridian, can also help with arthritis as well as headaches and constipation. Check out our article on the Ren 12 acupuncture point and how St-41 can help with stomach issues as well. 

The Dividing Cleft point is also easy to find. Find where your ankle meets your foot. If you need guidance, flex your foot upwards (toward your body) and you will see a small crease. Place your finger in the middle of the crease, relax your foot, and press down to stimulate this acupoint. 

Acupressure for a sprained ankle

Acupoint: GB-40 (Other Names: Gallbladder-40/Qiu Xu/Mound of Ruins)

If you are suffering from a sprained ankle, this acupoint (and the next two) could help you. Gb-40 has shown great efficacy in treating a sprained ankle, and is included on our list of top acupuncture points for hip pain. This point can also help with general weakness in the lower body and pain in the chest.

To find this acupoint, locate the knobby ankle bone on the outside of your leg. Place your finger directly below the bone, then follow the curve of the bone towards the front of your foot. Move your finger only about one centimeter and you are on the GB-40 acupoint.

Acupoint: GB-41 (Other Names: Gallbladder-41/Zu Lin Qi/Foot Governor of Tears)

 

The Foot Governor of Tears is another acupoint located on the gall bladder meridian. Not only can it help with a sprained ankle, but it is included with the UB-64 acupuncture point in acupoints to help with back pain when you need to stand for an extended period of time – check out that article if your job requires a lot of standing. Gb-41 will help with red eyes, headaches, migraines, and foot pain as well.

To find Gb-41, locate the crease between your pinky toe and the toe directly next to your pinky toe. Move your finger back from this crease about two cuns to successfully locate and stimulate GB-41.

Acupoint: SP-5 (Other Names: Spleen-5/Shang Qiu/Shang Mound)

Last on our list of acupressure points for an ankle sprain is Sp-5, located on the stomach meridian. This point can also help with abdominal pain, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and more. We have an entire article written just about the Sp-5 acupuncture point, where we go into more detail about its extended acupressure therapeutic benefits – be sure to check that article out. 

This point is fairly easy to find – it is essentially on the opposite side of your leg from the Gb-40 point. Find the knobby ankle bone on the inside of your leg. Place your finger on the side of the bone closest to your foot and press down to engage the Metal Mound acupoint.

Acupressure points for swollen ankle

Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)

Acupoint: Liv-3 (Other Names: Liver-3/Tai Chong/Supreme Rush)

Next for our acupressure points for ankle pain (and a swollen ankle specifically) is the Liv-3 acupoint on the liver meridian. Liv-3 is one of the best calf acupuncture points, also helping with depression, headaches, epilepsy, and irregular menstruation. This acupressure point for swollen ankle is extremely versatile, helping with dozens of other ailments. 

Finding this acupoint is very similar to the process used for Gb-41. Locate the crease between your big toe and your second toe. Move your finger back about 1.5 cun from this crease, and you are on the Liv-3 acupoint.

Acupoint: SP-3 (Other Names: Spleen-3/Tai Bai/Great White)

Another great point for swollen feet and ankles is Sp-3 on the spleen meridian. The Great White acupressure point can relieve gastric pain and even help those lose weight when suffering from obesity and overweightness. We discuss Sp-3 and its benefit in acupressure for bloating – check out that article for quick and effective ways to debloat.

Place your finger out the outside edge of your big toe, then move your fingers a few inches down the length of your foot to find the Sp-3 acupoint. This point is located on the side of your foot in line with the largest part of the sole of your foot.

Acupressure point for ankle tendonitis

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)
Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

Final on our list of acupressure points for ankle pain is Sp-6, which can specifically help with ankle tendonitis. Other issues Sp-6 helps with include: irregular menstruation, infertility, problems in the spleen and stomach, insomnia, and skin diseases. We discuss more benefits of Sp-6, including other foot benefits, in our article on the kidney 1 acupuncture point.

Though this point is not on the ankle or foot, it is very easy to find. Locate the knobby ankle bone on the inside of your leg, then move your finger up about four fingers width, as shown in the picture. 

Written by

P. Sze

P. Sze

P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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