Running is a great way to exercise while getting some fresh air. Even though running is supposed to make you feel good, especially due to the endorphins it can release, that’s not always the case. For some people, running can cause ankle pain that reduces the joint’s mobility and function.
If you’re experiencing ankle pain from running, it’s easy to brush it off as just a side effect of strenuous physical activity. But there are some causes of ankle pain from running that need further health care assistance and treatment. The good news is that physical therapy can help alleviate your ankle pain from running that stems from common medical conditions and injuries.
We’ll talk about what the ankle pain may feel like and potential causes for the ache. You’ll also learn about physical therapy treatments and specialties that can help alleviate the pain.
What does ankle pain from running feel like?
Not all ankle pain is the same. If you have pain in your ankle joint that starts or worsens from running, it can interfere with both your ability and motivation to keep exercising. It also means that the heavy impact of your footsteps while running may be aggravating a medical condition or injury.
Depending on the cause, ankle pain can often be associated with other symptoms, such as:
- Reduced range of motion.
- Inability to bear weight.
5 possible reasons why you feel ankle pain from running
There are a variety of potential causes of ankle pain from running. Even though many medical conditions can result in ankle pain, injuries are common among runners. In fact, approximately half of the running population gets injured in any given year. While some injuries that cause ankle pain from running can stem from trauma or falls, others are caused by overuse.
Here are five possible reasons that you feel ankle pain from running:
- Sprain — If your ankle is moved into an odd position, such as “rolling” after landing awkwardly from a jump, you could stretch or tear a ligament in your ankle. Along with pain, a sprained ankle can also cause swelling and reduced mobility.
- Strain — Just like a sprain, an ankle can strain due to twisting your ankle. But an ankle strain refers to a muscle injury as opposed to a ligament injury. It can cause pain as well as muscle spasms and cramping.
- Stress fracture — When you overuse your ankle joint, or do repetitive movements that put stress on the joint, you can cause a stress fracture. This refers to small cracks in the bone that can cause pain during movement.
- Instability — Sometimes ankle pain comes from ligaments that aren’t strong enough to stabilize the joint as you run. When your foot rolls inward too much as you walk, called overpronation, you can weaken the ligaments and cause ankle instability.
- Tendinitis — Overusing your ankle joint or wearing improper footwear while running can cause tendon inflammation, also known as tendinitis. Ankle tendinitis can cause pain during movement as well as tenderness and swelling.
Physical therapy treatments and sport specialties for ankle pain from running
If you’re ready to alleviate ankle pain and restore your mobility, then physical therapy is the answer. In addition to helping with pain management, it can also increase the overall quality of your ankle joint. A physical therapist will assess your symptoms to determine the cause behind your ankle pain. They will choose treatment options that will work best for the severity of your symptoms as well as your physical ability.
Here are some physical therapy treatments that can help ankle pain from running:
- Sports therapy — If you’re a competitive runner, then sports therapy can benefit you in a variety of ways. Not only will it help reduce your symptoms and restore your mobility, it can also increase the strength, flexibility and range of motion to improve your overall athletic performance. You’ll even gain knowledge about how to prevent future injuries.
- Joint mobilization — Manual therapy is one of the best ways to alleviate pain in your ankle joint. If you have tendinitis, your physical therapist may recommend joint mobilization, which involves them using their hands to move around the joint to find restrictive tissue. Then they use massage-like movements to loosen the tissue to release the painful tension.
- Therapeutic exercises — With targeted exercises, your physical therapist can help you regain strength and flexibility in your ankle to help you get back to your daily physical activities. They will walk you through exercises that will strengthen the muscles surrounding your joint to increase stability. They’ll also show you stretches that will improve your range of motion.
Continuum Wellness can help treat ankle pain from running with physical therapy
Ankle pain from running can cause stiffness and reduced mobility that interferes with your day-to-day activities. Continuum Wellness offers treatment options like targeted exercises, joint mobilization and sports therapy to get you back on your feet and ready to run.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.