Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ankle Pain When Running : Cause : Treament & Strengthening Exercises

The ankle is one of the most active joints when running. That is why ankle pain/ankle injury is the second most common running injury after runners knee.

Left & Right Ankle pain while running

Ankle pain/injury can happen on either left ankle or right ankle. The majority of cases are on left ankle. This is because the majority of people and runners are right handed and their right leg is usually stronger than the left leg. The left ankle is usually weaker because of lack of repeated use of the left leg.

Treatment for ankle pain

If you ever experience a serious ankle pain injury when out running you should stop running and walk back home. Running with an ankle joint in pain will make the injury more serious than it is. The first line of treatment for ankle joint injury is to ice the area around the ankle immediately after you finish running. This will ease the pain and reduce any swelling. Later you can try using an anti inflammation cream or spray. If the pain is severe after 24 – 48 hours, you should book an appointment with a Doctor.

How to protect your ankles when running

Taking care of your ankles is important in staying fit and injury-free especially if you are training for a marathon or half marathon.

To protect your ankles from injuries you need to work on your running form, have correct foot strike, don’t run on hard surfaces every time, wear good running shoes and most importantly do ankle strengthening exercises.

Ankle Muscles Strengthening Exercises

These ankle strengthening exercises are for healthy runners with no injury but are looking for exercises to build strong ankle muscles.

Heel raises are simple exercises that you can do at home. This is done by standing straight with your legs kept apart at shoulder width. Then you start with raising your heels as high as you can.

Ankle strengthening exercises may also involve the use of resistance band where you can loop it on the ball of one foot and then pulling the band towards you.

Jumping rope is also one simple exercise to build stronger ankles and legs. Hiking is also a good exercise especially if you are increasing the elevation as you go on with the exercise. Even a simple walking on the balls of your feel, or your heels can help in building strong ankles.

Ankle rehabilitation exercises

If you are recovering from and ankle injury you should do the following exercises to restore ankle strength and flexibility.

Isometrics Strengthening Exercises

1. Eversion Isometrics

  • Place your injured foot against a table leg facing out while seated.
  • Push your foot outwards the object that is against to your foot (take note that your ankle joint should not move) to perform a muscle contraction.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and relax for 10 seconds.

2. Inversion Isometrics

  • Place the injured foot inwards against a table leg or closed door.
  • Push your foot inwards towards the object against your foot (take not that your ankle joint should not move) causing a muscle contraction.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and relax for 10 seconds.

Non-Isometrics Strengthening Exercises

3. Dorsiflexion

  • Working only on your ankle by pointing your foot backwards to your nose (while performing this workout, keep your knees straight). Continue until you feel discomfort or can’t tilt it back any further.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Return to neutral position.

4. Plantar flexion

  • Moving only your ankle, point your foot forward (while keeping knees straight). Continue this workout until you feel discomfort.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.

5. Inversion

  • Moving only your ankle and keep your toes up with your foot facing inwards. Make sure that your sole is facing your other leg while performing this workout. Continue until you feel discomfort or when you can no longer turn your foot inwards.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.

6. Eversion

  • Moving only your ankle and keeping your toes up with your foot facing outwards. Continue until you feel discomfort or when you can no longer turn your foot outwards.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and return to neutral position.