Runners Ankles – Do you suffer from Ankle Pain during and after a run? Fitness enthusiasts love running because it’s one of the easiest exercises to do and access.
Running has many benefits for the body – including improved cardiovascular function, losing weight, and getting lean. Plus, running boosts your energy and can make you feel great about yourself.
But, the problem with running is the pounding the feet and ankles endure over time, and it’s no wonder runners tend to develop ankle pain.
If you are like me that loves running, and the benefits of this fantastic cardiovascular exercise, but suffer ankle pain, this article will break down how ankle pain develops and what you can do about it.
Ankle pain is one of the biggest health complaints among runners. The very nature of running, the constant jarring impacts of each step, lends itself to this kind of pain.
So as a runner, what can you do to prevent ankle pain? The good news is there are many things you can implement to minimize the pain and possibly eliminate it in some situations.
Causes of Ankle Pain
How to Prevent Ankle Pain While Running – There many causes of ankle pain while running and most of these common include:
Bad Shoes – Have you ever had a pair of shoes that caused you so much ankle pain that you almost gave up running completely?
Having a pair of running shoes that are designed for running, fits right, and is very supportive is the key to preventing ankle pain.
Also, make note of when you start running with your new shoes and when you will need to replace them.
As a rule, it’s best to replace your running shoes every 300 to 400 miles.
Related Article: Best Running Gear For Beginners | 15+ Great Fitness Accessories
Previous Injuries – If you suffer from previous injuries, like ankle sprains, they can flare up again while running. Always, please consult a doctor for the best exercises and stretches to reduce pain if you choose running as the right fit for your lifestyle.
Too Much Running – This was a problem for me when I train for 10K races is that too much training results in ankle pain for me. If this ends up being an issue for you, then I would suggest cutting back your running to let your body rest and recover.
Lack of Mobility – This is something that my partner drills into me every time I go for a run, and that is to stretch. Running without sufficiently stretching and warming up your body causes a lack of mobility in your ankles. This directly results in ankle pain. Also, staying in shape is another way to prevent ankle pain.
Maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising frequently. If you are looking for tips and tricks for better stretching for your runs, click here for some help.
What Can I Do for Ankle Pain After a Run?
Many common ankle problems associated with excessive running are Achilles tendinopathy, a sprain, a stress fracture, and osteoarthritis.
Whether it is sore or tight ankles or Achilles tendonitis, here is what you can do when your ankles are uncomfortable after running:
Rest – Rest days are important to prevent injury and help you improve as a runner. Running causes microscopic tears in your muscles and a breakdown of your entire physiological system, thanks to the impact load.
If you feel your condition continuing, stop running until your pain is completely gone, otherwise, your injury can get worse. Either relax in the meantime or find alternative ways to exercise – swimming is a healthy alternative – while your ankle heals.
Ice and cold therapy – Applying ice packs to the strained ankle is an effective way to reduce your pain, as well as to lessen inflammation and swelling. The numbing effect can also be soothing for pain.
Compression – I love Compression socks for running because they can also be used to control swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs. You can also wrap your ankles with KT tape or use a splint that supports and stabilizes the ankle and controls any swelling.
Elevate – Keep your ankle raised above heart level when you’re sitting or lying down in order to help reduce swelling.
Pain relievers – This one is a tricky thing for me as I can’t take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories due to a medical condition, but they help can help ease the pain and inflammation of your injured ankle. Please consult a physician before taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
If pain and discomfort continue despite these efforts, see your healthcare provider for more advanced treatment.
There is no way to completely prevent ankle injuries, but if you follow the steps above, you can reduce their likelihood.
Just remember to:
- Warm-up before running with stretching the lower legs and ankles.
- Avoid rapid increases in mileage, and be careful when changing terrain.
- Change your shoes frequently (every 3–6 months). If you’re not sure whether you’re wearing the right shoes, visit a specialty running store for an evaluation.
- Improve your ankle stability through single-leg balance exercises. If falling and ankle sprains are an issue for you, see a physical therapist to help you get started.
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If you are worried about your health before starting a new workout, consult your doctor beforehand.