why do my ankles hurt when i run

Why do my Ankles Hurt when I Run?

For any reason, you may need to run! Because It’s normal to run in everyday life. If you are an athlete, then running is very important. But the problem starts when you feel pain in your ankle. When your ankle starts to hurt, you cannot run as before. And it’s a big problem if your ankle hurts when you run!

One of the most typical running-related complaints is ankle pain. It may restrict your capacity for running, force you to scale back on your training or prevent you from running. This content will discuss why your ankles hurt when you run.

Ankle Anatomy

The ankle joint and the subtalar joint are the two joints that make up your ankle. In addition to allowing your ankle to move from side to side, these joints also allow upward and downward movement.

Three bones altogether can be found in these joints. Included in that is your tibia, generally known as your shin bone. The talus is the bone positioned above the bone of your heel, and the fibula is the bone located next to your shin bone.

Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments all cooperate to support the stability of your ankle joint and aid in the motion of running.

Possible Ankle Pain Causes

Why do my Ankles Hurt when I Run

Ankle pain that occurs while jogging might have numerous reasons. Muscle tears, sprains, or strains are typically responsible.

Most ankle injuries happen when the foot becomes unexpectedly unstable during running because of an uneven surface, a rapid change in speed or direction, poor running form, or weak ankle muscles.

Flat feet or high arches that don’t adequately shield and support your foot when you run might potentially cause ankle instability.

Anytime tendons are stretched beyond their usual range of motion and susceptible to damage. For instance, if you’re sprinting on a sloped surface, your foot may roll inward or outward with each step.

This puts extra strain on your tendons, increasing the likelihood of ankle and Achilles tendon sprains and tears. Your ankles may roll more readily than usual if your ankle muscles are weak since your joints aren’t exerting as much control over them.

Here are five of the most typical causes of ankle pain after jogging.

Poor running technique

Running incorrectly might result in an ankle injury. When you land on your heel, your calf and Achilles’s tendons are put under many loads.

Try to land closer toward the front of your foot and lean forward from your hips rather than your waist to lessen the risk of damage. This will assist you in maintaining a more balanced posture where your weight is distributed more evenly between both feet.

Because it puts a lot of strain on the foot and ankle when the foot lands, overstriding can also be problematic. You can prevent this by shortening your stride and enhancing your foot strike pattern.

Jogging on uneven ground

The feet, ankles, and legs absorb the force generated by the impact of running. Uneven surfaces cause this force to not be distributed equally, which might result in an excessive amount of contact on one side of the ankle.

The regular running mechanics can be disrupted by uneven roads and walkways, gravel tracks, rocky terrain, and muddy or grassy ground, which puts more stress and pressure on the joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Inappropriate footwear

Bunions and other issues can be brought on by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or aren’t appropriate for your foot type. A lot of the time, the shoe is to blame for a sore ankle. After all, the ankle is joined to the foot and lower leg.

Check to see if you’re wearing the proper shoes for your foot type and running gait if you’re having pain when you’re exercising. Your shoes may be bringing on the issue.

Try buying a new pair of shoes (or two) if you use an old pair to see whether that solves the issue. Several runners claim that their ankle pain disappears after purchasing new running shoes.

Running shoes should be sufficiently stable, cushioned, and shock-absorbing to reduce impact forces during the foot-striking phase.

Weak ankles

Weak muscles or tendons in the area of your ankles are one of the most frequent causes of ankle problems.

Since it is more prone to being sprained or rotated out of its natural position, a weak ankle joint is more likely to sustain an injury.

By performing simple ankle exercises, you can strengthen the muscles surrounding your ankles and avoid this.

Weak ankle and calf flexibility

The ability of your ankles to react to the shocks and jarring you feel when running depends on your ankle flexibility. If left untreated, tightness in the calves and ankles might result in damage.

Before beginning a running program, runners can stretch their calves and ankles to reduce tightness. These stretches function by loosening the tendons and muscles in the lower leg, which can help shield against future injury.

Ankle pain symptoms

As a runner, it’s normal to have minor aches and pains, just like with any other sport. But if the pain doesn’t go away, something might happen. Here are distinctive signs that something more significant is up:

  • Ankle pain that is sharp in the front, back, inside, or outside
  • Pain that never goes away
  • Pinching sensations
  • Tenderness or bruising
  • Stiffness or swelling in the joint
  • Moving instability
  • Less ability to walk, run, or carry weight

How can you distinguish between ankle pain symptoms and foot pain in general? Use a symptom checker for ankle pain to help you figure out what is wrong.

As always, though, Google can’t replace an accurate medical diagnosis, so if you’re worried about the pain in your ankle from running, you should see a doctor.

What are the advantage of running?

No matter what age you are, being physically active regularly has a lot of benefits.

Running can help adults lower their chances of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and other health problems.

Running can also help you keep a healthy weight and improve your mood.

Physical activity is also good for kids because it strengthens their muscles and bones and lessens the chance that they will get depressed.

Running is still one of the most popular ways to work out. An estimated 56 million people run regularly.

About 80% of these runners in the U.S. keep doing what they’re doing because they want to stay healthy. Over 70% of runners also do this exercise to help lower their stress levels.

Running regularly has benefits, but anyone who does this high-impact activity may also feel pain.

This is true for people who run regularly and build up wear and tear on their bodies, and problems can also arise for people who have just started running recently.

Why do my Ankles hurt when I Run?

Not sure why your ankles hurt when you run or after you run? Here are five ways to look at it.

Sprain or Strain of the Ankle

Most of the time, your ankles hurt when you run because you strained or sprained them. An ankle strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is overworked or torn, while an ankle sprain has the same injury but affects a ligament.

A single, severe injury often causes ankle sprains and strains. Most other types of ankle pain are caused by overuse.

Whether on a smooth sidewalk or a rough surface trail, rolling your ankle takes one wrong step or landing, which can be very painful. Even if you can get up right away, tiny tears in your muscles and ligaments could add up over time to cause a serious injury.

Strains and sprains may be the most common cause of ankle pain when running, but they are also the easiest to treat. As with most injuries, the pain from rolling your ankle will be simpler to cure if you take care of it as soon as possible.

If you take good care of yourself when you notice pain, you’ll be fine.

Stress fracture in the ankle

Stress fractures happen when your muscles can’t take the shock of repeated hits any longer. Rather, tiny cracks form in your bone(s), eventually breaking under pressure.

Shin splints are the most basic form of stress fracture. It is an irritation of the bone’s outer lining. When someone has shin splints, it’s the first sign of a bone stress injury (BSI).

If you don’t get stress fractures treated, they could stop you from running and put you in a cast for a few weeks. See a physician and get X-rays if your ankle is severely bruised, sore, or hurts so much when you run that you can’t do it.

Ankle Tendonitis

Tendinitis is when a tendon gets inflamed, which makes it fray, tear, or swell. Many kinds of tendinitis in the foot area can hurt your ankles when you run.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the muscles in the back of your calf to the back of your heel bone.

If you run and feel pain on the back of your foot above your heel, it could be because your Achilles tendon is swollen.

Tibialis anterior tendonitis

This tendon flows down on the front of your tibia (shin bone) and attaches to the front of your ankle.

If this is where your ankle hurts when you run, it’s probably because your foot bends too far and too often. Problems with your anterior tibialis tendon can also cause shin splints.

Posterior tibial tendonitis

This tendon connects the posterior tibial muscle on the back of your shin to the inside of your foot.

When it’s bothering you, the inside of your ankle might swell, feel warm, or be red. These symptoms might get worse after you walk.

Peroneal tendinitis

If your outer ankle hurts when you run, it could be because your peroneal tendon is swollen. This tendon connects your lower leg bone (the fibula) to that bony nodule outside your ankle (the lateral malleolus).

No matter what kind of ankle tendinitis you have, the causes are the same: too much use, too fast of an increase in mileage, bad running form, bad shoes, low arches, flat feet, and tight calf muscles.

With ankle tendonitis, you’ll generally feel symptoms when you wake up or experience sharp pain while trying to cool down from a run.

Ankle Arthritis

You might think of older athletes as having arthritis, but runners of any age can have this kind of long-term pain.

When you run, you may feel pain in your ankles if you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis in your feet.

In each case, the joint is hurt or weakened, which makes it stiff and hard to move.

Ankle arthritis doesn’t just happen to runners who do a lot of running; it doesn’t ignore experienced athletes either.

If you notice symptoms, write them down and track whether they get worse over time so you can try to help before it’s too late.

Instability of the ankle and biomechanics

Sometimes, it could just be that your ankles are weak. When you put weight on an unstable ankle, your body’s natural biomechanics “give out,” causing you to feel pain all the time and get hurt often while running.

Overpronation can cause the supporting ligaments in your foot to weaken, which can make your ankles weak and shaky.

When you overpronate, each step you take is slightly out of balance, which makes your foot roll inward and spreads out the shock of impact.

Running requires some pronation to absorb shock, but too much too fast can cause problems.

This kind of injury can cause pain to spread up and out from your feet and legs, which can be debilitating if not treated. If your ankles are shaky, stability running shoes or shoes with motion control might be a good choice.

But you should always have a professional fit for your shoes to ensure you have the right shoes for your foot type, injury, and activity. Exercise for your ankles can also help you work out this important but often-forgotten part of your body.

How to reduce ankle pain while running?

If you run a lot and have painful ankles or feet, you might be able to get rid of the pain or at least keep it from getting worse. Check out the best ways to get back into running shape.

RICE: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is a tried-and-true way for athletes to recover from injuries. This method is perfect for treating pain from sprained ankles that come from running.

Compress the ankle to reduce swelling and pain. Rest the joint and put as little weight as possible on it. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, raise your injured ankle above your heart to improve blood flow.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that you can buy over the counter are great for relieving ankle pain caused by running.

You shouldn’t make it a habit to take these daily, though. Take them as directed immediately after your injury and for at least 24 to 48 hours.


Limiting your foot’s range of motion, a brace (check price), supportive wrap, or protective boot (check price) can help with chronic ankle instability and stressful broken bones.

Physical therapy

Ankle circles, calf raises, and working with a resistance band can help strengthen the muscles all over your feet and keep them from hurting when you run.

But if your ankle hurts a lot, wait 48 to 72 hours before stretching and strengthening it. Use a heat pack to warm up those sore muscles and tendons before you start.

Steroid injections

If you have ankle pain, you must go to a doctor for a steroid injection.

Some people don’t like these solid anti-inflammatory medicines because they can cause scar tissue to form.

But as a one-time treatment, it can be very good at relieving pain from tendonitis and arthritis in the ankle.

How do runners strengthen their ankles?

You have to follow a 10-minute routine of exercises to strengthen your ankles and lower legs to get stronger ankles and legs.

This routine exercise for strengthening the ankles is excellent for returning to your feet after an ankle sprain or other ankle injury.

All ankle strength exercises in this at-home workout don’t require any equipment. Instead, they just use your body weight.

You can do these exercises anywhere to strengthen your ankles and stabilise them. Here are the exercises by which runners can strengthen their ankles!

  • Heel Walks: 2 sets of 1 minute
  • Toe Walk: Two groups of one minute
  • Single Leg Alphabet Drill: Each leg does two sets of A to Z
  • Lateral Hop and Hold Drill: Each leg should do two sets of 20.

Should you see a doctor for ankle pain?

If resting and putting ice on the area doesn’t help, you should see a doctor. This is also true if your ankle is swollen or giving you a lot of pain.

When you go to the doctor, he or she will check out your body. This will include questions about your signs and other details about your situation and running routine.

You will also be asked about your medical history and your family’s medical history.

Your doctor could also order imaging tests like x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and stress tests. These will be made so that a correct diagnosis can be made.

The main goals of your treatment will be to reduce your pain and swelling and to make you feel better overall.

But how you treat your ankle injury will depend on what’s wrong, how bad it is, and how well you are.


"Hasan", I am a physiotherapy Doctor. I have completed my B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently I am working as a clinical physiotherapist at a renowned physiotherapy center and I am continuing my MPT (Master's of physiotherapy) degree at CRP, Savar.

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