How Do I Treat Ankle Pain from Running?

An ice pack, which can help with ankle pain.
Selecting the proper pair of running shoes is key to preventing ankle pain.
Running on concrete can be hard on the feet and legs.
Wrapping the injured ankle may be necessary.
Running on a treadmill may ease ankle pain from running.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2014
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To treat ankle pain from running, it is best to take a few days off to allow the ankle to heal, and to prevent making the pain worse or causing actual tendon damage. It is also a good idea to try to address the cause of the pain, and see why it appeared in the first place; for instance, ill-fitting shoes, or simply shoes that are too old and need to be replaced, can all cause ankle and foot pain. To treat ankle pain from running, the normal rules of treating any injury apply: rest, elevate the foot, apply ice in intervals, and wrap it if necessary to slightly immobilize it.

Determining the reason that you have ankle pain from running is important, since running with proper form on good surfaces should not cause ankle pain. Running on concrete, for example, can be hard on the feet and legs; if possible, it may be a good idea to run on a softer surface, or run on a treadmill. Some people find that taking smaller, faster strides is better than longer strides, which are more likely to cause pain. In addition, trying to run lightly, rather than slamming down with each step, is a good way to prevent ankle pain.


The best way to treat ankle pain from running is to allow the ankle to rest and heal; the mantra, "no pain no gain," does not really apply here. Pushing yourself to run on an injured ankle can lead to a lot more problems than taking a few days to rest. If the ankle appears swollen, elevating it and applying an ice pack can help to reduce the swelling, in addition to taking an over the counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Apply the ice in 20-minute intervals; for instance, 20 minutes on the injury, than 20 minutes off, to avoid causing injury to the skin. If the pain does not improve soon, visit a doctor to determine if anything else is wrong.

Another way to treat ankle pain from running is to purchase new, more supportive running shoes. The best running shoes should provide arch support to the feet, not allowing the foot to roll to one side or another when it strikes the ground. This is known as over or under pronation, and can quickly lead to ankle pain and injury. The shoes should fit properly as well, and not allow the foot to slide back and forth, or strike the front of the shoe, which can also lead to falls and ankle injuries. Taking care of yourself and running carefully will ideally help to prevent ankle pain from running, and allow you to continue exercising.


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