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Causes of Ankle Pain in Runners

Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00

Ankle pain, which plagues many runners, stems from the repetitive stress placed on the joints with every step. Runners take approximately 1,700 steps per mile, each one contributing to the cumulative strain on their ankles. The primary causes of ankle pain in runners include ankle sprains, strains, tendonitis, and stress fractures. Ankle sprains involve stretched or torn ligaments, resulting in pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the ankle. Strains, which are injuries to the tendons, can cause pain, muscle spasms, and cramping. Tendonitis, the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, is often triggered by overuse, wearing improper footwear, repetitive motion, and conditions like low arches or flat feet. Symptoms can include a dull ache, tenderness, and limited swelling. Stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bones caused by repetitive force and overuse, can result from excessive mileage, in addition to sudden increases in running distance and changes in running surfaces. Symptoms include worsening pain that diminishes with rest and limited swelling. If you are experiencing ankle pain from running, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.


The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis


Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.


Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.


Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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