Returning To Running After An Ankle Injury
If youre like other runners who are desperate to get back to running after an ankle injury, you might be wondering when you can resume running again.
To begin, keep in mind that you must go slowly.
Youll want to ease back into your running regimen in the same way you did when you first started.
When you find that your ankle is holding up nicely, gradually increase the number of miles you run each week.
Second, you should not even consider running until you can walk without ankle pain again.
Although you may want to take shortcuts, keep in mind that when you run, you are hitting the pavement with a force 2-3x your body weight.
You must ensure that your ankle is sturdy enough to withstand this.
Finally, when you get back into running, keep an eye on how things are going.
If things start to go wrong, take a few days off to allow your ankle to recover. The last thing you want is to be out of action for months.
Going Uphill Too Much
Running uphill is a good way to improve strength and endurance but it can take a large toll on your ankles, especially your Achilles tendons.
Its easy to spot the uphill running-related ankle pain because you should only experience it when you start increasing your uphill running sessions.
Take it easy on yourself and dont apply too much stress on your tendons with excessive uphill running.
Why Does My Ankle Hurt When I Run
The short answer to this is that your ankles are being used with every step when running.
Theyre connected to your feet, which are pounding the ground over and over and over again as you run. With each stride, your ankles are designed to help with impact absorption, propel you forward and help your foot maintain proper alignment.
In fact, when youre lacking full dorsiflexion in the ankles, your knees then have to absorb more of the force while running.
Thats a lot to ask of these tiny muscles being used for long distances. Without the right strength and mobility, its not uncommon for your ankles to hurt when you run.
Sometimes your ankles might not hurt until after running, but the basic root cause of many ankle injuries is still the same: overuse of your ankle.
Sharp ankle pain when running is always a sign to stop. This applies to any injury. Stop, see a doctor, get a diagnosis.
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Key Tips For Ankle Injury Prevention
Most of the aforementioned injuries are generally caused by your body not being properly prepared or conditioned when you run, or by imbalances and biological instabilities. Overpronation is a very common cause of ankle injury from running but can be prevented.
Now that weve answered the question of why do my ankles hurt when I run?, here are some general tips to help minimize your risk:
- Dont push yourself and increase distance and/or intensity too quickly. Let your body rest.
Other Treatment Options For Ankle Pain:
The following are some treatment options to manage ankle pain:
The structures in the ankle have a poor blood supply, which is why they can struggle to heal on their own. It is the oxygen and nutrients in our blood supply that help to heal these structures.
Prolozone Therapy involves the injection of oxygen and nutrients into these structures to provide a direct supply of what is required to heal and repair.
As the treatment is helping to treat the root cause of the problem, it is deemed to be a permanent fix.
2. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy involves different exercises like calf raise, resistance band work, and ankle circles to prevent ankle pain while running by strengthening the muscles around the feet. Clinical studies have demonstrated that certain exercises are highly effective at minimizing the symptoms in Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and ankle sprains.
In some locations, it is possible for you to self-refer to an NHS-vetted physiotherapist. On other hand, if that is not something feasible for you, your healthcare providers will request an appointment on their behalf for you.
5. Steroid Injections: Steroid injections, such as cortisone shots, when administered directly into the joint, can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of the ankle.
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Unaddressed Ankle Pain After Running Can Lead To Injury
Addressing any ankle pain as soon as possible can prevent it from getting worse. If ankle pain goes unaddressed, it can lead to:
Plantar Fasciitis: Pain in the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: Compression of the posterior tibial nerve
Achilles Tendinopathy: Pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon
Other Ankle Injuries: Any injury affecting the tendon, muscle, ligament, or bone in the ankle
If youre looking for expert-back tips on how to do intense workouts without risking injury, consider downloading the Nike Training Club app.
Causes Of Ankle Pain From Running
The ankle, knee and hip provide almost all the propulsive forces during running. Clearly, a healthy and functional ankle joint is important for running, but the ankle is a common site of running-related pain and injury. Some of the most common causes of ankle pain from running include inversion sprains, Achilles tendinitis and blisters due to excessive friction.
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Ankle Doctors In Cincinnati
Here at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, our board-certified surgeons provide exceptional care for you and your family. From the time you make your appointment until you walk out the door, you will receive attentive service and individualized care from all of our healthcare professionals and staff.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling the location near you or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you find relief from your pain!
How Can Ankle Pain Be Treated At Home
Reducing the stress on your ankles is the first step in easing ankle pain. Some foot pain conditions can become a chronic condition if left interested. For immediate treatment of ankle pain, many healthcare providers recommend the RICE method.
Rest: Patients with ankle pain should avoid putting extra weight on the ankle for 48 to 72 hours. Walking boots or crutches can help you walk or move without putting weight on the ankle.
Ice: Cold compresses or applying an ice pack on the injured ankle for 15-20 minutes between multiple icing sessions can help reduce swelling on the ankles. Start by icing your ankle four to eight times per day.
Compress: Wrap your ankle with a compression sleeve or elastic bandage to improve swelling and pain of the ankle.
Elevation: If possible, raise your ankle above your heart level by placing a stack of pillows.
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How To Treat Ankle Pain After Running
A very important recovery tool is Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, .
First, learn to distinguish between pain and discomfort. When you know youre dealing with ankle pain, the best thing you can do is rest. Since many ankle injuries are due to overuse, the best way to heal them is to let your body do its thing without adding more stress to it. Take a few days off, and then test your ankle with low impact cross-training. If that feels okay, try a VERY short run . If the pain persists, you need more time off, and likely some professional help.
Rest is also one of the most important ways to prevent injury. Making sure to take true rest days while youre training will help your body recover properly for your next training session. And dont forget that recovery runs are equally important so slow down!
The best at-home remedy for ankle pain is ice. If you have the ability to put your feet in an ice bath, thats going to be your best option. However, ice packs are also great. I keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer for this purpose since it conforms well to joints! For the first 48 hours of pain and swelling, apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, a few times per day.
Icing is also a great normal post-run practice for sore ankles.
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When To Consult A Doctor
While most ankle sprains heal with a little TLC and at-home care, its important to know when the injury has progressed past that point.
Those who experience extreme swelling or bruising, along with the inability to put weight or pressure on the area without significant pain, should consult a doctor.
Another general rule is to seek medication attention if theres been no improvement during the course of the first few days.
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Poor Flexibility In Ankles And Calves
Tightness in the ankles and calves can lead to injury if left unchecked. To help with tightness, runners can perform a number of ankle and calf stretches before starting a running program. These stretches work by opening up the muscles and tendons in the lower leg, which can help prevent injuries down the road. Ankle flexibility is important because it helps ensure your ankles can adapt to the jolts and jars you experience while running.
What Can I Do For Ankle Pain After A Run
Some common ankle problems associated with excessive running are Achilles tendonopathy, 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 painful after running:
- Rest Your body has a natural healing process as new cells replace damaged ones, but it takes time and requires rest. So, 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 good alternative while your ankle heals.
- Ice and cold therapy Applying ice packs to the affected ankle is an effective way to reduce your pain, as well as to reduce inflammation and swelling. The numbing effect can also be soothing for pain.
- Compression Wrap your painful ankle 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 youre sitting or lying down in order to help reduce swelling.
- Stretch Gently stretch and massage your injured ankle to help reduce the pain and tension.
- Pain relievers Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, as recommended by your healthcare provider, can help ease the pain and inflammation of your injured ankle.
If pain and discomfort continues despite these efforts, see your healthcare provider for more advanced treatment.
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Ankle Pain Running 1 Ankle Sprain
If you experience pain above your ankle bone, especially following a misstep, twisting, or rolling of the joint, then blame it on an ankle sprain.
The condition is an injury of one or more of the ligaments that make up the ankle joint.
Its usually caused by running on an uneven surface, stepping off a curb, or simply landing awkwardly.
In some cases, you feel or hear a pop followed by sharp pain.
An ankle sprain can also result in swellingthe joint will get visibly enlarged soon after getting injured.
Treatment Of Ankle Sprains
Although its a drag, ankle sprains are one of the easiest conditions to can recover from.
Typically, a sprain will heal in a few weeks, even days with proper rest and treatment.
To treat it, opt for the RICE methodrest, ice, compress, and elevateand in cases of acute pain, take anti-inflammatories for 24 to 48 hours post-injury.
Once you can put the entire of your body weight on the injured limb and perform several ankle movements pain-free, then start running again in a slow and gradual manner.
Seek medical care in case pain and swelling persist beyond a week.
What Can I Do To Relieve Ankle Pain
Most ankle pain gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medication. Follow your providers instructions for at-home treatments for ankle pain. Your provider may recommend the RICE method . If pain is severe or your ankle still hurts after a few days of at-home care, see your provider.
The most common home treatments for ankle pain are:
- Rest: If youve had an injury such as a sprain, you should stay off your feet for a while. Talk to your provider about how long you should rest. Crutches or a walking boot can help you get around without putting weight on your ankle.
- Ice: To reduce swelling, apply ice or a cold compress to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours.
- Compression: Ask your provider about wrapping an elastic bandage around your ankle to reduce inflammation. Be careful not to wrap it too tight.
- Elevation: Resting with your ankle elevated above your heart reduces swelling. You can also try to sleep with your foot elevated at night.
- Over-the-counter pain medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain and reduce swelling. Talk to your provider before taking any medication.
- Supportive footwear: Make sure your shoes provide adequate support for your feet and ankles. Avoid flip-flops, sandals and shoes that are too loose. Its especially important to wear proper footwear when playing sports. Activities such as basketball and volleyball can lead to ankle injuries, especially without the right footwear.
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Why Your Ankle Hurts After Running: Causes And Remedies
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If your ankle hurts after running, dont worry. Ankle pain is a common problem amongst professional and amateur runners alike. You might be tempted to endure the pain and finish that run to prove to yourself that you can do it.
Were not saying this is a bad idea, but you need to understand the difference between ankle pain and general running fatigue.
Ankle pain could result from problems happening inside your body which are often aggravated by external causes. Running is a fairly high impact sport, different from sports like cycling for example.
Were going to demonstrate why your ankle hurts after running, what signs to look for, and how to handle the situation to prevent it from getting worse.
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You deserve a pain-free life with full function of your wrists, ankles, shoulders, legs, and everything in between. At SPORT Orthopedics + Rehabilitation, we provide state-of-the-art treatments and procedures to assist your full recovery and to get you back to your normal life. If youre suffering from one of many common foot injuries, were here to help. Call us today at and well fix you up.
If you are suffering from foot pain instead of ankle pain, read our related blog titled, Why do my feet hurt when I run? to learn more.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Ankle Pain
Pain in the ankle can result from several injuries and conditions. Some of the most common injuries that cause ankle pain include:
- Bursitis: Fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion your bones when they move. Bursitis happens when these sacs become irritated and inflamed.
- Fractures: An accident or injury can cause bones to break . Ankle fractures range from mild to severe. Broken ankles can involve bones in any part of the ankle joint. A broken ankle causes ankle swelling and pain.
- Sprains: Sprained ankles are a common cause of ankle pain. An ankle sprain happens when ligaments stretch or tear. Sprained or twisted ankles happen when the ankle rolls forcefully out of its normal position.
- Tendonitis: Irritated, inflamed tendons are a soft-tissue injury called tendonitis. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Sometimes, a tendon can tear . A torn tendon may need surgical repair.
Many diseases, disorders and conditions can also lead to ankle pain. These include:
How To Deal With Ankle Pain After Running
Although ankle pain is a common occurrence after running, it can, on occasions, be unbearable. There are numerous steps you can take to help reduce the pain, some of which are listed below:
1. Dont Hesitate to Seek Medical Help
You should seek medical help if the following applies:
- You can put no weight on your ankle at all, and there is a visible difference in its appearance .
- The pain you experience is intense, even when the ankle is being rested.
- A popping sound can be heard when you try to move your ankle.
- If the ankle becomes infected .
Your doctor will likely perform an x-ray on the ankle to determine the exact cause of the pain and the best course of treatment, which may include anti-inflammatory medication, protective and supportive gear, or possibly surgery.
- Protection: Use supported equipment, such as a brace or splint.
- Rest: Attempt to avoid placing weight on the ankle if it is hurting, perhaps try using crutches when walking.
- Ice: Placing ice on the area that is in pain will help to reduce swelling as well as numb the pain. Leave it on the ankle for around twenty minutes, and be sure to never put ice directly onto the skin.
- Compression: Wrap your ankle for extra support with the aid of an elastic bandage, but ensure not to wrap it too tightly.
- Elevation: If you are able, raise your ankle above your heart you can use pillows to assist you.
3. Stretching and Strengthening
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