Do Your Ankles Hurt When You Run?

April 1st, 2020 Becki Andrus

The Advantages Of Running

The benefits of being involved with physical activity on a routine basis are enormous regardless of your age.

Adults can decrease the risk of experiencing heart disease, high blood pressure, a stroke, and other health issues through running, while this form of exercise can also help you sustain a healthy weight, and enhance your mental outlook. 

Physical activity is also valuable for children, as it delivers a positive impact on muscles, and bones, while also diminishing the possibility of depression.

Running remains entrenched among the more popular forms of exercise, as it has been estimated that 56 million individuals participate in running as a frequent activity.  

It has also been stated that around 80% of these runners in the U.S. continue their regimen as the result of an ongoing goal to remain healthy.  Over 70% of runners also adhere to this exercise in order to reduce their level of stress.

While the advantages of running with consistency are unquestioned, the possibility of experiencing pain can also emerge for anyone who participates in this high impact activity.

This is true for individuals who accumulate wear and tear that results from a steady habit of running, while issues can also develop for anyone who has recently become involved with this activity.     

The Anatomy Of The Ankle

Your ankle consists of two joints – the ankle joint and the subtalar joint. These joints are responsible for the upward and downward movements of your ankle, along with the ability to move your ankle from side to side.

These joints also contain a total of three bones. That includes your tibia, which is also referred to as the shin bone. The bone that is adjacent to your shin bone is called the fibula, while the bone that is located above the bone of your heel is called the talus. 

Your ligaments tendons and muscles also work together toward bolstering the stability of your ankle joint and assisting in the motion involved with running.

Ankle Injuries During And After Your Run

It has been estimated that 65%-80% of runners will encounter an injury during a 12-month period. This underscores the importance of taking pain seriously if you receive this warning sign during your run. Because it could create additional health problems if your muscles, ligaments or tendons are not supplied with the opportunity to heal once an issue has emerged.

Ankle sprains are extremely common, and this issue will develop if your ankle moves in an unnatural way. This includes twisting or turning your ankle, which will stress the ligaments that are tasked with stabilizing your ankle joint. Ankle strains develop when the tendons in your ankle become inflamed, which usually transpires due to repetitive use.

If you encounter discomfort in your ankle while you are running it could be the result of tendonitis. This normally occurs as the result of overuse, as the tendons can become overworked during the process of repetitive running. The most common form of this issue is referred to as posterior tibial tendonitis, which involves pain and swelling from small tears in the tendon.

Stress fractures develop due to small cracks that emerge in your bones. This can be the result of consistent force and impact from running repeatedly or excessively.  

Causes Of Ankle Pain During And After Running

In many cases, the discomfort that is experienced by a runner occurs as a result of repetitive use. If you have encountered ankle injuries while running in the past then you are also more susceptible to incurring a similar situation.

Anyone who sits for extended periods of time while in the workplace is also at greater risk of contending with an ankle injury while running. In other cases, shoes that do not fit properly will lead to an issue.

Any substantial increase in the distance or intensity of your running will also raise the risk of developing an injury. This accentuates the need to make sure that you only increase the scope of your workouts gradually while avoiding an overreaction to the confidence and euphoria that you may experience when running. Because this can compel you to overextend yourself too quickly.

Symptoms Of Ankle injuries

While it may appear obvious, any review of symptoms should begin with the reminder that pain can be a clear indication that a health issue has occurred.  This is also the case if there is swelling or bruising, along with any stiffness or tenderness in the ankle area.

A popping sensation or limitations in your range of motion are further indications that an injury has transpired. The symptoms remain similar for each form of an ankle injury, regardless of the specific condition that you have encountered.

What A Doctor Will Do

If rest and ice are not providing relief then it is recommended that you visit a physician. This also applies if your ankle is swollen, or you are dealing with significant pain.

When you see your doctor, he or she will conduct a physical examination. This will include a series of questions about your symptoms and any other specifics surrounding your situation and your running regimen.

You will also be asked about your medical history, along with the history of your family members. Your physician could also order imaging testing, including x-rays, CT Scans, MRIs, and a stress test. These will be designed to ensure a proper diagnosis.

The general goals for your treatment will focus on reducing your pain and swelling, while also improving your overall condition. However, the specific strategy for dealing with your ankle injury will be determined based upon your exact issue, the severity of the condition, and the status of your overall health.

At Orthopedic Associates We Are Ready To Help

If you are concerned that you have encountered an ankle injury from running, or, if you have any questions or concerns about your ankle, the specialists at Orthopedic Associates have the expertise and commitment to help. 

Our collection of board-certified doctors provide vast knowledge that can only result from their combined 183 years of experience. Our team of physicians is also comprised of specialists for every condition that you might encounter.

We also offer in-house x-ray and MRI capabilities as part of our full spectrum of musculoskeletal care at Orthopedic Associates.  These resources and our expertise are equally beneficial in providing you with effective treatment plans that will guide you back to a pain-free existence.


Our orthopedic experts are highly experienced in performing multiple types of treatments and surgeries for the foot including:

  • Amniotic and Placental Graft Tissue for Surgery and Wound Care
  • Anesthesia
  • Bunion Correction with Scarf and Akin Osteotomy
  • Bunionectomy
  • Bunionette Deformity Correction
  • Calcaneal Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
  • Calcaneal Sliding Osteotomy (with Lateral Plate Fixation)
  • Calcaneal Tongue-Type Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
  • Cartilage Repair
  • Charcot Foot Treatment Options
  • Cheilectomy
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • Cotton Osteotomy (Medial Cuneiform Opening Wedge Osteotomy)
  • DuVries Arthroplasty
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy (EPF)
  • Excision of Mortons Neuromas
  • First MTP Joint Fusion/Replacement
  • Fixation for LisFranc Injury
  • Hammertoe Correction (PIP Joint Arthroplasty)
  • Jones Fracture Fixation
  • Kidner Procedure
  • Lapidus Arthrodesis (with Medial Plate Fixation)
  • Lapidus Procedure for Bunion Correction
  • Lateral Column Lengthening (Evans Osteotomy) for Adult Acquired Flatfoot
  • LisFranc Ligament Repair (Suture Button Technique)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Mallet Toe Correction (DIP Joint Arthroplasty)
  • Medial Calcaneal Sliding Osteotomy
  • Metatarsal Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
  • Metatarsal Head Resurfacing with Collagen Interpositional Grafting
  • Midfoot Fusion
  • Minimal Incision Toe Bone Spur Removal
  • Multimodal Anesthesia and Pain Control
  • Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)
  • Partial Nail Removal (Matrixectomy)
  • Plantar Fascia Release (Open Technique)
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
  • Pulse Dye Laser Wart Removal
  • Radiofrequency Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
  • Intramedullary Memory Implant
  • Subtalar Implant/Fusion
  • Tarsal Tunnel Decompression
  • Tendon Transfer/Repair
  • Triple Arthrodesis
  • Weil Osteotomy for Claw Toe

Visit one of the Orthopedic Associates’ two locations or request an appointment today. We are fully committed to paving the path toward a pain-free life for you.

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