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Reasons Why You Feel Ankle Pain When Running (and How to Solve It)


There’s nothing more frustrating than nagging ankle pains when you’re trying to run. And sometimes, those pains can be more serious than you first think. Check out the following reasons why you feel ankle pain when running, and find out how best to solve it.

Strains and Sprains 

Some of the most frequently experienced ankle pains from running are strains and sprains. The former happens when a tendon or muscle is overstretched or torn, while the latter affects a ligament. However, slight strains do not necessarily mean you have to give up running temporarily. If you’re recovering from a strain or sprain injury, as long as you have a good pair of running shoes, you may still be able to run with comfort and confidence. Indeed, specially designed running shoes can help to prevent a variety of ankle pains from occurring in the first place. Many of today’s running shoes are designed to help existing ankle problems and prevent further issues arising. If you want to find the right type of shoes to run in, this post describes the best running shoes for bad ankles. 

Stress Fractures 

Stress fractures are another common ankle pain you can experience when running. They are tiny cracks in a bone that occurs when your muscles can’t absorb the shock of repetitive impact. You could experience stress fractures if you run excessive miles, change your running surfaces, or do not cross-train by working out other parts of your body. If you experience limited swelling and the pain gets worse over time but diminishes with rest, you could have stress fractures. 

Ankle Tendinitis 

Tendinitis means the inflammation of a tendon force it to swell, fray, or tear. Ankle tendinitis is often caused by running too far or for too long, wearing the wrong type of running shoes, and repetition, such as running only in one direction on a track. Symptoms of tendinitis are dull aches and pains, tenderness, and limited swelling. 

Treating Ankle Pain 

If you experience ankle pain from running, the first thing you need to do is rest it so that your body can heal. That is the first stage of what is known as the RICE treatment method:

  •   Rest: Don’t put weight on your ankle for the first 48 to 72 hours.
  •   Ice. Put an ice pack on your injury as soon as possible. Keep it on for the first 48 hours or until the swelling goes down. Put ice on your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes each day, four to eight times.
  •   Compress. Wrap your injured ankle with an elastic bandage or a specifically-designed ankle compression sleeve.
  •   Elevate. When it’s possible, keep your ankle raised above your heart. 

By following the RICE steps, you can relieve the pain, reduce swelling, and speed your body’s healing process. If the swelling is really bad, you may want to consider over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. And if your pain lasts for more than three days, or if you can’t bear weight on your ankle after that time, make an appointment to see your doctor.