If your ankles hurt when running, then you know exactly how frustrating it is to be held back by pain when you are trying to stay active. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid this pain and discomfort in the future.
There are a few simple but often overlooked factors that lead to ankle pain during a run or jog. Things like overuse of the ankle, previous injury, and wearing running shoes that aren’t right for you can all be making your run more difficult.
If you want to know the reasons your ankles may be hurting while you run and what you can do to avoid it in the future, then keep reading to learn more.
You’re Wearing the Wrong Running Shoes
If you notice your ankles hurting after or during your run, it may be because you aren’t wearing proper shoes. Running affects the foot and ankle in a very specific way that is different from other forms of exercise, so you need to find shoes specifically for running.
The most important things to consider when choosing running shoes are proper fit and good support. Running shoes are meant to be secure and snug to offer the most stability to the ankle, but they may begin to stretch out over time. For this reason, it is always a good idea to replace running shoes more frequently then you may replace your regular sneakers, especially if your ankles hurt.
You Aren’t Stretching Before Your Run
Stretching before a run isn’t just good for your muscles; it’s good for your ankles, too. Stretching your ankles out before you go running helps warm up the joints and tendons in that area. If these are too tight during your run, you risk injuring the ankle and causing pain.
This is especially important if you have suffered a previous injury of the ankle. An injured ankle, even after it heals, is more likely to tighten up or flair up during a run, causing discomfort and even pain. If you find that your ankles hurt when running, try a few mobility stretches beforehand.
You Are Overworking Your Ankles
As simple as it seems, the reason your ankles hurt during your run may just be because you are running too much.
Although running is a great and extremely healthy form of exercise, it is possible to overdo it. If you are running hard every day without taking any breaks, then your ankles and the surrounding muscles are never getting any time to recover and build up strength and stability over time.
Try to plan a couple of rest days into your running schedule every week. Having some time off will actually strengthen your ankles and prevent them from hurting the next time you go running. This is especially important for long distance runners, so don’t be afraid to take some time off from intense training.
You Haven’t Strengthened the Surrounding Muscles
Believe it or not, the strength and health of your muscles overall play a huge role in whether or not your ankles will hurt during a run.
As with most of our joints, our ankles are greatly supported by muscles. If your calf muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and core are not strong enough to support your bones and joints during intense exercise, then your ankle may not have the stability or mobility to run effectively.
Be sure to build up overall strength in the muscles to keep your ankles and other joints healthy. This will significantly cut down any ankle pain your feel while running.
We know that ankle pain is frustrating, especially if you’re a runner who wants to stay as active as possible. The best way that runners can manage ankle pain is to take the precautions necessary to avoid it happening in the first place.
Practice responsible running by wearing properly fitting running shoes, stretching before you run, taking rest days in between intense training, and focusing on keeping your overall strength and muscle health at an optimal level. By following all of these running tips, you can avoid ankle pain in the future and remedy any pain and discomfort you are already experiencing.