Why You Experience Ankle Pain After Running: 5 Treatments
Running is a fun activity but sometimes we experience a slight pain in our ankles after a run. Why is that so?
Ankle pain after running is actually pretty common. Though it's not a severe condition, we shouldn’t brush it off as lack of proper care could make it worse. Read on and find out why your ankle hurts after going for a run.
Why Does Your Ankle Hurt After Running?
Runners exert a serious amount of force while running and most of it builds up around the feet which do most of the work. The force then spreads to the ankles, legs, and stomach, and pain becomes inevitable. As the feet carry the weight of the body along, the muscles get seriously worked up, and an overexerted muscle can lead to a sprain.
Sprains are the reason why we feel pain after running; this means that the muscle is overexerted or slightly torn. When the filament is overstretched or torn, the muscles become tender, leading to pain around the ankles.
If the pain is properly and promptly attended to, you will be able to run again without any problems. Here are some more reasons why your ankle hurts after running.
- Previous injuries. This is a common problem that could lead to an ankle injury. If you have sprained your ankle in the past, it is possible that it didn’t heal completely. Get it checked out and treated accordingly.
- Overexertion during running sessions. The keyword here is "overexertion." Some people tend to overdo their running sessions and push their body beyond the limit. This is common with marathons and long distance races; the muscles become stressed and have no room to relax.
The solution is to reduce the distance and take breaks in between. You can also use some alternatives such as exercise bikes or treadmills.
- Inappropriate footwear. People tend to ignore the smallest things. In this case, it's the footwear. Are your running shoes right for you? Are they too old or worn to be used? Your footwear determines how far and how well you run. The right pair of shoes should provide you with adequate support and comfort to avoid pain in the ankles.
- Blisters due to loose clothing. Loose running clothes can easily lead to blisters due to constant friction between the fabric and the skin. You would want to avoid getting blisters because they can get painful enough to prevent you from running.
Ankle Pain After Running Treatments
1. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
You can't "run out the pain." Instead, do a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises that are good for mobility and the ankles. You can try some mobility boosting exercises like writing the alphabet with your toes and some twists.
You can also increase ankle strength by pushing your foot against a wall. It's similar to the karate kick pose, only you are doing it with an non-moving surface.
Take note that if you are suffering from severe ankle pain, do not engage in any form of strengthening or stretching exercise. Wait at least 72 hours, until the swelling has subsided.
2. Relax and Stay Calm
Sometimes the best remedy for ankle pain is to simply relax and allow your body to reset and recuperate from the stress. So just ditch the running for a while and enjoy a refreshing glass of margarita.
3. Ankle Circles
Ankle circles are not only great for relieving ankle pain but also incredibly easy to do. To perform this exercise, sit or lie down. Rotate your ankles in clockwise, then counterclockwise.
Repeat this at least 15 times. For best results, do this exercise before running.
4. Calf Stretches
Calf stretches are great for relieving any tension you might be feeling in your calves. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from Achilles tendinitis. To do calf stretches, stand in a lunging position and make sure that your heels are parallel to the ground.
Stretch your hands out and push forward until you feel some release in your calf. Hold this position for 15 seconds and repeat at least 3 times on each side.
5. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands can help strengthen your ankles and prevent muscle pain. Place a resistance band around your ankles and pull slightly with your hands or a sturdy object to stretch your ankles. Repeat at least 10 times.
How to Protect Your Ankles
- Choose the right footwear. It is important that your shoes provide the necessary support and comfort for running. Make sure that your arch is supported, especially if it is low. If you have a higher arch, choose footwear with a soft platform.
- Eat healthy.
- Exercise regularly.
- Warm up before running.
- Practice caution when running on uneven surfaces.
Ankle pain after running is easy to avoid and treat. Familiarize yourself with the aforementioned tips so you'll know what to do should you experience ankle pain after running.
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