Running is one of the simplest forms of exercise. All you need are a pair of sneakers and The Great Outdoors. But running can also lead to injury. “Although running has many positive health benefits, there are still risks that come along with the activity,” says Dan E. Robinson, DPM, a podiatrist who specializes in foot and ankle surgery at Bingham Memorial Hospital. He tells us why we get ankle pain running and what we can do to treat it.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Anterior Knee Pain
- Calf and Achilles Tendon Issues – Ankle instability
- Pelvis and hip pain in women
- Stress fractures
- Plantar Fascities – Inflamed Tissue In the Foot
- Peroneal Tendonitis
- Chronic Ankle Instability
- Footwear to Help Ankle Pain
- A Word Against Ankle Supports
- Ankle Exercises For Ankle Pain While Running
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Anterior Knee Pain
Cause: Weakness in gluteus muscles, apps for quadriceps
How to fix it: It’s all about reducing the load on the knees. Changing your gate – by straightening your stride or trying for a mid-foot strike can lighten the load on your knees by up to 30%. A qualified physical therapist can improve your gate and make suggestions. Although anterior knee pain is about your knees, it can cause ankle pain running. If you gait is off, it can effect your hip, knees, and ankles.
Calf and Achilles Tendon Issues – Ankle instability
Cause: Aging or overuse of calf and Achilles tendon can cause ankle pain running.
How to fix it: This injury responds well to strengthening. Try some phrases on the edge of a step. Start with raises using your body weight and gradually increase to holding a dumbbell or other wait. Gradually strengthening your legs will cut back significantly on the pain you experience in your ankles from running.
Pelvis and hip pain in women
How to fix it: After giving birth some women start having issues with their pelvic floor. These tiny muscles can be hard to Target but a physical therapist can help women strengthen them, with the assistance of ultrasound imaging.
Cause: Overuse, especially in adolescents
How to fix it: This is more about prevention and treatment. Runners, a young ones, should make sure they are not putting into many miles per week. Good nutrition also helps prevent stress fractures, because I could that keeps bones strong.
Plantar Fascities – Inflamed Tissue In the Foot
Cause: Repeated pounding up the hill, creating tiny tears in the fascia, a thick band of tissue in your foot.
How to fix it: Preventing this type of pain can be as simple as making sure you are wearing the right type of running shoes. Or try stretching with a golf ball or lacrosse ball under your foot and heel and then apply ice. In some cases, a physical therapist will recommend orthotics. Inflame foot tissue is one of the more common reasons for ankle pain running. Luckily it’s on of the easier to treat.
I was in physical therapy for awhile working on my peroneal tendonitis. In additional to icing it, there’s a couple of really good stretches you can do to help before or after a workout. I try to work them in to my daily routine. One of the easiest ones that I’ve found helpful is writing the alphabet with your foot. Very slowly take your big toe and try and write the alphabet out. I usually try and do this at my desk while I’m at work if I’m in a lot of pain for that. Ice and rest help a ton too! If you’re desperate to get back to working out, try riding on a stationary bike for 15-20 minutes as that will help it out. Also, take ibuprofen for any pain or swelling.
Chronic Ankle Instability
Cause: Continued ankle injuries or genetic factors.
I would definitely get a second opinion before writing off your ankle if you suffer from chronic ankle instability. Some doctors are scalpel-happy chickenshits who only deal with old ladies. See a good ortho used to working with athletic patients and understands the power of Physical Therapy. Always be suspicious when you hear a doctor uses the word ‘degenerative’. Every part of every body is technically degenerating in some way or other – we’re not the adamantium robots that doctors seem to believe we need to be before we engage in any form of exercise.
Still, even if the joint is somehow totally “chronic” to the point of your foot falling off, you’ve got countless exercise options. Input from a physio, and some trial and error, will tell you exactly which ones are safe and which aren’t. Know what lower leg movement patterns are dangerous for you, and then structure a routine around that – there are scant few injuries that cannot be more or less completely worked around.
Some cardio/strength-endurance options: Swimming. Cycling. Sledgehammering. Battling ropes. Maybe punchbag/speedbag/shadow boxing. Bodyweight routine possibly complemented by paralettes and/or TRX/gymnastic rings. Clubbell or kettlebell work are very low impact.
As far as strength training goes, you’ll want to wait for a PT consult to see whether it’s safe for you to squat, deadlift, etc. My shot in the dark guess would be yes, you’ll be fine, but if not, any big chain gym will have isolation machines that can serve as acceptable replacements in terms of posterior chain strengthening.
Footwear to Help Ankle Pain
Look into getting some footwear that will properly assist the way your foot hits the ground. To get a basic understanding of what I mean, check out these guides:
Essentially, this guide is talking about the different types of ways our feet are shaped, and the way our feet hit the ground when we are walking or running. Some specialized running shoes nowadays are designed to cater to our needs. For example – I run with Asics GT2000 as I need a stability shoe when I run. I used to get very bad runners knee (knee pain) when I was using my crappy streetwear Nikes, and now I run freely!!!
I want to also mention that your pain might be coming from poor form in your strides. This is that you should NOT be striking the surface with your heel, but rather your mid-sole. For some people this is a mechanic that is difficult to learn. There is a ton of information that can help you out if you have found out that you’re a heel striker.
A Word Against Ankle Supports
I recommend NOT getting ankle support for an ankle sprain. It will make your ankle only weaker! I once tore my muscle in my ankle and my ankle was very weak. The only way to solve this problem is by training it, not by giving it false support.
You probably can use ankle support to keep running for a bit, but keep that on a easy level.
I’ve never heard of a podiatrist not recommending orthotics. Exhaust all your other options first, such as gait adjustments, ice/rest, or $30 generic orthotics like superfeet before you get orthotics.
Ankle Exercises For Ankle Pain While Running
Focus on doing exercises to improve your ankle’s strength if you have an ankle sprain. Stand on 1 foot, try to move your upper body so you have to correct with your feet. You can also stand on 1 foot and throw a little ball against the wall and you try to catch this. Pretty sure there are more examples to find on the internet.
Its just hard for a beginner to start training hard, a lot of body parts are weak and you should train your core, lose weight (if you need to) and eat healthy before you can actively run without problems. Start slow. Don’t ever push yourself too hard at first when you are just starting to run. Your muscles, tendons, bones and joints need time to adjust to the new strain before you can really start pushing yourself.