ankle pain

Ankle pain after a run? – here are the top 5 reasons & some home remedies to ease the pain

Vanshika is a final-year college student and has a very hectic schedule. Her classes begin early in the morning and continue till the evening; other than this, she is involved in various college activities because of her positions of responsibility. Despite her busy routine, she always takes time for self-care and health. She loves running and jogging daily to maintain her physical and mental health.

But lately, she feels a nagging and persistent pain in her ankle after her run sessions. For a few times, she ignored it for a couple of days, thinking it must have been triggered due to a lack of warm-up or running on the right surface. But a week later, she visited her doctor to get herself checked. After running some tests, her doctor told her she had a minor tweak in her ankle. He suggested her take a rest for some time and not put any stress on the ankle. He told her to follow the RICE for a couple of weeks and prescribed her some pain killer, for the pain.

Vanshika has started her treatment and knows a lot about her condition, but it’s high time you learn about it too. Please keep reading to know its possible causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Running is one of a vast population’s most common aerobic workouts. If anyone ever thinks of starting a fitness journey, running or jogging is something that crosses their minds at least once. Running is an activity that needs minimum equipment and can be done anywhere with ease.

Running targets all the body parts and especially works the legs, engaging the hamstrings, shin, calves, and various small ligaments and tendons of the foot and ankle.

But if running is not done correctly, pain awaits for you on the other side of the finishing line. A proper warm-up is one of the essential prerequisite for running; if you overlook this, you may injure yourself minutely or severely. And the injury can affect any body part that is engaged while running.

ankle pain

Our ankle comprises of three bones: tibia, fibula, and talus. This joint with these bones helps us to walk correctly by making possible the extension and flexion movements in the foot. Have you ever experienced an ankle twist while you usually walk with your friends? If yes, then this happened to you because of the wobbly nature of the joint. Our ankle joints are unstable, which is because of their anatomic structure.

What causes pain in the ankle after a run?

Pain is always an indicator of a bigger problem; in this case, identifying the problem and solving it could be the only way to relax the pain. Here are a few common reasons for one to suffer from ankle pain:

1. The improper technique of running

Running techniques differ from surface to surface for everyone. It is important to know the do’s and don’t of running. Running or jogging may not appear as complex, but it involves many complex ligaments and muscles. While running, one must make sure they are wearing the right kind of footwear that protects their feet. Do not push yourself too much. Forcing yourself to a reasonable extent is fine but do not overdo it, else you will end up hurting yourself. Watch your form; make sure you run in the correct posture with the proper shoulder movement and strides.

2. Ankle sprain or strain

A sprained or strained ankle is caused by rolling, twisted, or oddly turning an ankle. This can cause the tight bands of tissue like ligaments that keep your ankle bones together to strain or tear. Depending on its severity, this can cause you to feel pain, tenderness to touch accompanied by swelling or bruising.

ankle pain

3. Tendonitis

Tendonitis in the foot or ankle is a condition of inflammation of a tendon in the foot or ankle. This could be because of the frequent and repeated kind of activity in the joint; your ankle is one of the most likely areas to get tendonitis. One of the major causes could be overuse of the ankle, low arches, wrong footwear, flat foot, or tight muscles.

4. A stress fracture in the ankle

A stress fracture happens when the muscles can no longer absorb shocks from rigorous activities and sports. A stress fracture is development of a small break in the bone. They are produced by repetitive force, commonly caused by overuse, such as jumping repeatedly or sprinting long distances. In this condition, the bones do not displace from their original position.

5. Arthritis

Osteoarthritis in the ankle develops when the ankle cartilage deteriorates.

Trauma (accidents), autoimmune illnesses (rheumatoid arthritis), and infections can be possible causes. Most ankle osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage degeneration from past traumas and injuries. While one suffers from arthritis, one may notice pain, swelling, and bruising.

Symptoms of ankle pain.

One of the significant symptoms of this condition is Pain and reduced motion in the ankle.

Other than that, we have listed some other signs of ankle pain.

  • Sharp ache in the ankle’s front, rear, inside, or outside.

  • A dull, persistent pain

  • Pinching feelings

  • Bruising or tenderness

  • Swelling or stiffness in the joint

  • Instability while moving

  • decreased mobility

  • Pain in movement

These symptoms can be worse or better depending on person to person and the cause of the pain.

Treatment of ankle pain.


When in pain, nothing works better than RICE; when done correctly, it has no downside.

R is for Rest: providing Rest to the ankle while it hurts. Do not keep it under constant pressure through the pain. It is suggested to quit any sort of movement.

I is for Ice: applying Ice is very important to reduce pain and swelling. Ice or cold pack should be applied as soon as possible to the affected area and should be used until the inflammation is subsided.

C is for compression: Wrapping the affected area helps to alleviate the pain and swelling. Wrap in with a medical elastic bandage; wrap it according to yourself. But do not wrap it too tight.

ankle pain

E, is for Elevation: in this, you need to raise the affected leg above the level of your heart. Doing the reduces pain and swelling in the ankle.

Braces for ankle

Ankle braces act as support, just like an external skeleton. Supportive wrap and braces serve as a protective tool to relieve chronic ankle pain, and instability.

Pain Killers

OTC or over-the-counter medication work just fine for ankle pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work wonders when it comes to relieving ankle pain after running. You shouldn’t get used to these as they might be hazardous to your health in the long term.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is essential to relieve any kind of pain; it strengthens the muscles and makes them flexible. The exercises that are listed below may help with ankle pain. With these workouts, You can regain your ability to walk correctly by performing these actions. Ankle alphabet, Knee motion, Towel and tissue scrunches, Towel stretch, Standing calf stretch, Heel raise, One-leg balance.

Ankle pain can be frustrating, as it seems never to cure fully. But taking the proper measures may help you reduce the ankle pain.

Written By

Kanak Tiwari

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