Ankle Pain After Running: Treatment And Prevention

The impact of running on your ankles can be quite significant, resulting in a sore and tender feeling for days following your run if you are having difficulty with minor ankle pain.

Along with the aching in your ankles caused by running, your ability to run will also be negatively impacted.

You’re so afraid and concerned about the distress in your ankle that you are unable to push yourself to an improved speed or further distance.

At our Bonita Springs clinic, we know that running isn’t just a good habit – it is also a challenge, and when you can improve your personal best time or place higher in a race, the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable.

Ankle pain can prevent people from running, but our staff is ready to help. Read this blog entry to find out how to lessen the discomfort after running.

Runner’s Ankle Anatomy

Despite its small size, the ankle is an intricate part of the body.

It is stated by Road Runner Sports that a person’s foot includes an impressive 26 bones, 33 joints, and many ligaments and tendons. No surprise that so much stress can be placed on the ankles and feet!

Orthopedic Associates describe the structure of the ankle in a bit more depth:

  • There are two joints: the ankle joint and the subtalar joint
  • Each joint contains three bones: tibia, fibula and talus
  • Ligaments and muscles surround the ankle to provide stability and support

It is noteworthy that various muscles and tendons can influence the balance and ability of the ankle joint. The four that are directly connected are:

  • Calf muscle connects to the Achilles tendon in the back of the foot
  • Anterior tibialis muscles run down the front of the calves
  • Peroneal muscles run down the outside edge of the foot and ankle
  • Posterior tibialis muscles run down the inside of the calf to the arch of the foot

Although the ankle is not extremely big, any slight misalignment of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments attached to it can cause soreness after running.

Common Causes Of Ankle Pain After Running

In our experience of working with lots of runners, pain in the ankles is usually caused by one of the following four scenarios:

1. Ankle Sprain

A twisted or torn ankle is a result of stretching or tearing the ligaments which connect the tarsal bones in the ankle and foot to each other and the bones in the tissues surrounding the lower leg.

If you have twisted your ankle, you will likely experience discomfort, puffiness, discolouration, and the incapability to put weight on your ankle or move it.

Trauma, such as a slip or tumble, generally causes ankle sprains. For joggers, rolled ankles are a lot more frequent when running outdoors since the grounds may be irregular and alter while they are in the middle of a jog, which increases the odds of twisting an ankle or losing one’s balance.

Running indoors or on a track tends to result in fewer ankle sprains.

2. Ankle Strain

An ankle strain is the same as an ankle sprain, except the tendons that go from the ankle bone to the muscles in the foot and the lower leg has been either ripped or stretched.

If you hurt your ankle, you may suffer a variety of signs, such as (i) discomfort, (ii) tumefaction, (iii) twinges, (iv) contractions in the muscles, (v) and you may be not able to move or place any pressure on your ankle.

Ankle strains are comparable to ankle sprains because typically, they arise from an accident.

3. Tendinitis

Tendons in the ankle can become irritated and inflamed, a condition known as tendinitis, which is an issue regularly seen in runners.

Tendinitis may cause a persistent, throbbing discomfort in the ankle, which can become worse when bending the ankle joint. If you encounter the most difficulties when running, this could be an indication that you are suffering from tendinitis.

It is possible to observe a minor amount of puffiness near the ankle, and it can be delicate to press on or manoeuvre.

Injury to the tendon can arise for joggers due to excessive use of the ankle joint – whether from running too much or too frequently. It can be inferred that runners are prone to developing tendinitis when they are attempting to escalate either the number of times they run each week or the range of their running sessions.

To prevent this problem, it’s critical to slowly increase the amount of running you do, so your ankles can adjust to the increased mileage without any issues or distress.

Tendinitis among runners can often be attributed to the shoes they wear. Wearing improper shoes or shoes that are not in good condition, puts more pressure on the ankle tendons while jogging, raising both the potential and intensity of tendinitis.

In the end, your foot can leave you more open to suffering from tendinitis. If you possess weak or flat arches in your feet, this puts added strain on the muscles and ligaments in your ankle, which makes tendinitis more probable.

4. Stress Fracture

The culmination of all possible causes of ankle pain after running is a stress fracture. This is not a standard occurrence, yet it is something our squad often deals with for joggers in our region.

If you have experienced a stress injury in your ankle, then you will experience escalating pain while you are in motion, which will ease up when you take a rest. You may detect an increase in size and you could see discolouration around the area of your ankle.

Stress fractures resemble tendinitis and generally occur as a result of running too great a distance in a single outing or throughout a given week.

A switch from a treadmill to running outdoors could lead to stress fractures due to the harder surface and extra strain on the ankles.

Other potential sources of stress fractures can be attributed to inadequate nutrition, in particular, a deficiency of Vitamin D and Calcium.

5. Repetitive Use

A common reason for suffering sore ankles after running is repeated activity. Regular running may be enough to irritate the ankles and cause pain.

The motion of running can be very monotonous, thus any slight drawback in your procedure, accessories, or preparation can bring about ankle discomfort.

If you find that your ankle discomfort vanishes when you don’t go running, then the likely cause of your pain could be due to overuse. To ensure that your healing process is thorough, you might need to lessen the amount you run, as well as the intensity. It may even be necessary to take a break altogether.

6. Overtraining

Exercising excessively, which can lead to even more severe problems, is similar to doing the same thing repeatedly. Running too much or too hard can result in a situation where the body does not have enough time to completely bounce back before the next workout.

Many marathoners that get too much exercise struggle with taking a break, which normally leads to them pushing through pains which can worsen a minor injury. Taking a break from running is necessary if your ankle discomfort is due to excessive exercise.

7. Increase in Mileage or Intensity

One of the typical sources of ankle distress while jogging, and other varieties of running pains as well, is when you increase your mileage and/or intensity too rapidly.

Runners who rapidly boost the number of miles they cover in a brief period tend to find that their body does not react as anticipated.

Making your speed workouts longer, speeding up your runs quickly, and taking fewer recovery days or easier runs may cause ankle pain.

8. Flat Feet

Flat-footedness is not the responsibility of the person running, however, if it is not managed properly, it can cause soreness in the ankles during or after running. In certain scenarios, having flat feet can result in overpronation – this is when the foot rolls toward the inside when touching the ground.

It is essential to take preventative measures for ankle pain associated with having flat feet, like getting running shoes tailored for the condition, using orthotics, and rectifying any structural problems associated.

9. Improper Shoes

In some cases, ankle discomfort after running may be due to having on shoes that are not suitable for running. Shoes made for running can provide support to sensitive areas, but if you accidentally pick a pair that isn’t suitable, this can have negative consequences.

Many running stores provide checkups and assessments to guarantee you get the right shoes for your foot structure and jog.

It is a good idea to make sure you are fitted with the right running shoes to avoid potential ankle pain, as well as offer support if the ankles are already in discomfort.

10. Poor Technique

If you can’t identify a clear source of your ankle pain, it could easily be due to not using the correct approach. Many runners don’t know that they are running incorrectly.

Problems like taking too large of a step, landing on the heels when running, a measured pace, an improper body posture, and an abnormal arm swing can all lead to different types of harm if they accumulate gradually.

Analyzing your own running form can be tedious, but it will undoubtedly be worth the effort in the long run.

If you are having difficulties with aches and pains in your ankle while running, recognizing the makeup of your ankle could be beneficial for identifying where the anguish is originating from and what could be the likely sources of it.

Natural Way To Stop Ankle Pain After Running

To diminish ankle soreness caused by running without depending on analgesics, following the RICE technique is a good approach to reduce anguish, reduce inflammation and help recuperation be quicker.

RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate.

Avoiding putting any pressure on your ankle as much as is feasible is what is referred to as “rest”. This will provide your ankle with the opportunity to heal without further strain or bother any irritated or swollen parts.

Using ice is an effective way of alleviating ankle soreness and decreasing inflammation without the use of medication. It is a well-known and secure method to reduce ankle discomfort if you put an ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes, and do it multiple times every day.

Secure your ankle with an elastic bandage or an ankle support sleeve. The compression should be snug, but not feel tight.

Raise your ankle up and make sure it is higher than your heart. When in bed, you should use a cushion to put your foot up.

Through the implementation of the RICE protocol, it should be plausible for you to cease any ankle suffering resulting from running if it is an inconsequential wound or trouble.

Pain Relievers

In many instances, running can result in ankle pain which may cause joggers to have difficulty strolling or moving around properly. When things deteriorate further, the hurt may take the form of an aching or intense heat that makes it hard to catch some shut-eye.

You can take medications purchasable without a prescription, like NSAIDs, to control the pain while you wait to get professional help. Take caution not to take painkillers before running to cover up the pain – this could only make the injury more serious.


In some situations, stretching can be beneficial in reducing any soreness in the ankle that is a result of jogging. Stretching the areas that are around the ankle could be an effective method for reducing any discomfort that is because by a muscle, ligament, or tendon connecting to the ankle.

Include stretches for your shins, calves, feet, quads, and hamstrings in your routine to check if the discomfort might originate from another part of the lower limb.

Ankle Braces

Ankle braces can be extremely beneficial when the agony is so intense that it is affecting your gait. These braces offer extra reinforcement to the ankle and assistance in warding off additional harm from abrupt motion.

Extra Support

Occasionally, it is not feasible to take a break from running. Whether it is the week of a race or there is some other cause of it, a large number of joggers battle against ankle pain while they are running. In these cases, adding extra support can be helpful.

Wrapping the environment around you can be helpful to provide stability and support your ankles when you go for a jog. KT tape can be used to support the ankle, and some tutorials show exactly where to put it for the most effective results.

Strengthening the Ankles for Running

Construction of the ankles may be the most advantageous and efficient tactic for thwarting ankle distress from running. Making sure the region is well fortified, supported, and agile will aid in avoiding accidents in the coming days.

Doing activities like raising up onto the heels, walking on the heels, doing a star-shaped stepping pattern, and doing exercises using one leg at a time all help to reinforce the strength of the ankles and the muscles around them. This not only increases safety while running but also avoids the development of muscles being unevenly strengthened.

Experiencing aches in your ankles while running can be discouraging, but it doesn’t always mean you have to take a break. Having an in-depth knowledge of the ankle structure, possible trauma, and ways to help relieve discomfort when it shows up can help athletes run without any delays.

When To Get Help To Relieve Ankle Pain After Running

To recover from more serious ankle injuries, seek professional help from our team if:

  • Your ankle pain lasts for more than 3 days
  • You struggle to run after a week of rest
  • Your ankle becomes very red (which can be a sign of infection)
  • You can’t stand, or place weight on your ankle
  • Your ankle feels unstable, tingly or numb
  • You have a history of ankle problems

If you do not experience any pain or any other symptoms after attempting the RICE protocol, it is unlikely that it will heal completely by itself.

Although you may be wishing the injury to disappear by itself, it can sometimes become worse, or keep occurring, thus making it impossible for you to become better, covering more distance and savouring your running.

Although an ankle injury can be bothersome, you don’t have to just endure it. Our team can provide assistance in treating ankle discomfort caused by running without the need for painkillers.


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