How Runners Can Avoid Injuring Their Ankles

Posted on: 4 August 2016

Runners and other types of athletes place a lot of strain on their ankles. If the ankles then become sprained or broken, it can be much more difficult to run without suffering severe pain. To get back on your feet and run with minimal pain, you will need to know how to best care for your ankles.

Preventing Ankle Injuries

The best way to avoid ankle injury is to avoid injuring them in the first place. Pay close attention to how you are running and to the surface that you are running on to make sure that you do not bend your ankle in an incorrect way. A common reason for ankle injuries are shoes that are not supportive. Make sure that your shoes fit properly and they provide your feet with proper support. Replace shoes that have become old and battered. 

Also, perform stretches that can protect your ankles from injury:

  • Standing Calf Stretch: lunge forward and keep your foot flat on the ground
  • Calf Raises: stand on your toes and the return your heel to the ground
  • Ankle Rotation: rotate your ankles in circles

Perform these before running to reduce your risk of an injury. Stretching helps reduce tightness around the ankles, but the stretches might not be enough. You might also need to have a massage therapist treat rub your ankles to remove the knots. 

Avoiding Overuse Injuries

Even when you do everything right, if you run excessively, you may suffer from an injured ankle as a result of overuse. Occasionally take a break from running and select an activity that has a lower impact, such as rowing. The good news is that your ankles will be strengthening throughout this process and you will soon be able to run for longer without sustaining an ankle injury from overuse. However, you must give your ankles time to adjust to your lifestyle.

When It's Time For A Specialist

Sometimes, the only way for your ankles to fully recover is to see a foot and ankle specialist at a center like Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center. If you have sprained your ankle, it is crucial that you have it treated properly or you may develop chronic ankle instability, which can make it difficult to continue your running career. Make sure to bring your running shoes to your foot and ankle specialist and explain what you normally do before and after you run so the specialist may be able to identify the source of your ankle pain.