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Ankle Pain While Running

Here is a brief idea about the conditions that can cause pain in the ankles, especially while running.
Chandramita Bora Aug 27, 2020
Ankle injuries and pain are some of the common problems faced by runners and athletes. Usually, the pain experienced during a workout session is caused by a sprain, which can occur when the foot is suddenly twitched inward or outward.
An acute pain in the ankle usually indicates an ankle sprain or trauma while exercising or running, but chronic ankle pain is generally caused by the overuse of the ankle. Any injury or trauma to the ankle can damage the ligaments that connect one bone to another, and control the movement of the joint. This in turn, can manifest in pain and swelling.

Experiencing Pain in the Ankles While Running


As mentioned already, the pain experienced in the ankle while running or exercising is usually caused by a sprain. Sometimes, Achilles tendinitis can also cause pain in the ankle, especially while running.
A sprain is usually caused when the ankle is suddenly twisted inward or outward. This causes the ligaments of the ankle to stretch excessively. Such twisting can cause tearing of the ligaments, besides causing damage to the surrounding tissues.
A sprain that results while twisting the foot inward is referred to as an 'inversion ankle sprain', while the sprain caused when the foot is twisted outward is called an 'eversion ankle sprain'.
Usually, ankle sprains affect the ligaments present on the lateral side of the ankle. Depending on the extent of the damage caused to the ligaments, ankle sprains can be classified into three types - first degree sprain, second degree sprain, and third degree sprain.
A first degree sprain is the least severe form, while the third degree sprain is the most severe form of sprains. Achilles tendinitis, which is also a common cause of this condition, is characterized by the irritation and inflammation of the large tendon (Achilles tendon) that is located at the back of the ankle.
This condition is usually caused by overuse injuries, which in turn, can cause tearing of the Achilles tendon. If left untreated, this condition can eventually cause the Achilles tendon to rupture. Ankle pain can also be caused by fractures, ankle tendinitis, development of a neuroma, arthritis, infections, gout, and pseudogout at times.

Associated Symptoms

The symptoms that can accompany ankle pain depend on the extent of the damage. A mild case of sprain or injury can manifest only in pain with or without swelling, while severe ankle pain can be accompanied by a lot of swelling or inflammation, and the loss of stability of the joint.


To treat ankle pain, it is important to ascertain the extent of the damage, which can be done by visiting a physician. In the meantime, avoid any activity that can put excessive pressure on the ankle joint.
You can use a crutch while walking. Use an ice pack to get temporary relief from the pain caused by the sprain or injury. An ice pack should be applied within 48 hours following the injury or trauma.
In addition to these, keep the injured ankle at an elevated position, especially while sleeping. To reduce the swelling, apply compression by wrapping the affected ankle with regular or elastic bandage.
If the pain becomes unbearable, talk to your physician regarding the use of pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs. If the symptoms persist or aggravate with time, then consult your physician to evaluate the condition, and find out the actual cause(s).
To prevent ankle pain in the future, make sure that you wear proper shoes or footwear while running or exercising. It has been observed that many people experience ankle pain while running because of an improper gait, which to a great extent can be corrected by wearing proper footwear or shoes.
At the same time, try to avoid running on uneven and extremely hard surfaces. Exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle joint can help prevent pain in the ankle and frequent ankle injuries.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.