Running is a great way to burn those extra calories; it's one of the best cardiovascular exercises for overall toning and weight loss. However, if you've just started running or have resumed exercising after a long gap, there are chances that your ankles hurt after running. Whether it's intensive exercise like running, or a gym routine that you're following, chances are that you have faced some degree of pain post workout. This is the best indication that your muscles are working. As you continue, you will probably feel less pain and soreness, because your muscles gradually get used to the strain. Running places a great amount of stress on your ankles and knee joints, since it's these joints that absorb the impact of your weight. Here are some reasons why you may experience pain in the ankles after a run.
Wearing Improper Shoes
There's a slew of reasons connected to your shoes, if your ankles hurt when running. To clarify, here goes:
If your shoes are new, it may take a while for you to get used to them. Running and jogging with new shoes that haven't been completely 'broken in', may cause stress on your feet, making your ankles hurt when running.
If you're running in old shoes, it's also possible that the shoes have worn out in areas where they are meant to provide support, especially your heel and ankle. This in turn leads to inadequate shock absorption, when your foot hits the surface you're running on, thus causing pain.
It's imperative to wear the correct shoes when running (essentially running shoes); wearing incorrect shoes will hamper your progress. There are many different kinds of shoes depending on the structure of your feet and pronation. If you're an underpronator, for instance, there are specific running shoes for underpronators. Getting the right pair of shoes will reduce the chances of ankle pain while jogging and running.
Improper Running Surface
The surface that you run on, determines to a great extent, how much pressure you're putting on your feet and ankles. Many runners choose to run on concrete pavements for convenience or proximity to their homes. However, concrete surfaces can cause excessive stress to your ankles, because they are so hard - this may make your ankles hurt. If you run on trails, the surface may be more conducive to running in terms of low impact on your joints, but trails are rarely leveled, and your ankles have to continually adapt to the level and terrain, which again may make your ankles hurt when running.
One of the cardinal rules of exercise is to warm up and cool down before and after your run. Inadequate stretching, or not stretching altogether can lead to ankle pain after running. Stretching gets your muscles and joints ready for action, and cooling down after your run helps your muscles relax. A few stretches, concentrating on your ankles, will go a long way in preventing stiffness after you're done.
Too Much Too Soon
If you push your body further and harder than you should, it's inevitable that you'll suffer. Running is an intensive cardiovascular exercise, and though the main focus is on raising your heartbeat, it's also important to strengthen your muscles to endure this intensity. When running, it's safe to gradually increase your speed and the distance you cover, instead of launching into a very ambitious program. Take your time to adjust to the rigors of running, and you're less likely to complain of ankle swelling and pain. Listen to your body, and slow down when you feel the need.
Injury of the Past
One cause of soreness in the knees/ankles can be some past injury, which you assumed had healed. Such injuries stay put, unless they are triggered by some heavy movement. In such a scenario, it would be better to get the condition checked as early as possible, as much can be revealed about the origin, and the intensity of the pain. A podiatrist will prescribe apt medicines, along with the exercises that need to be followed to heal the soreness.
- A time-tested solution to ankle pain and soreness is the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method.
- A home remedy like applying ice pack to reduce inflammation goes a long way in the healing process.
- Also, as mentioned above, proper stretching, before and after any kind of workout, is something you cannot avoid under any circumstances.
- Yoga is a great way of bringing flexibility to the muscles. Along with making your body flexible and muscles stronger, yoga relaxes you and makes you calm.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.