Why Do My Ankles Hurt When Running (Possible Causes and Best Fixes)

Why Do My Ankles Hurt When I Run

When you are out on the run, nothing ruins it like ankle pain. In most cases, you can’t do much about it once it happens, and you must cut your run short. 

Understanding why your ankles hurt while you run is actually extremely beneficial. Once you work out why ankle pain is happening and what the symptoms are, you can work to prevent it from happening as frequently.

There will still be days where it catches you out, but that doesn’t mean it will happen every single time that you go out running. 

If you want to learn why your ankles hurt when you run, you have come to the right place.

We are going to go over common reasons why your ankles might be hurting, symptoms to look out for, and how you can prevent it from happening. 

Possible Causes Why Your Ankles Hurt When Running 

There are quite a few reasons why your ankles hurt when you run and it can differ from person to person.

It can be anything from a previous injury to a sprained muscle, and even a fracture.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons why your ankles hurt when you run to give you a better understanding of what is going on. 

1. Sprains & Strains

This is the most common reason why your ankles start to hurt when you run.

  • When your muscles have been torn or overstretched, this can sometimes cause sprains or strains, making running more painful.
  • Sprains and strangers can’t really be avoided either, because they have nothing to do with your ability or even the terrain on which you are running.

Any misstep you take has the chance of causing a strain or sprain. 

Luckily, sprains and strains are the easiest things to treat, so if you do get one, you won’t have any issues in sorting it out.

2. Ankle Tendonitis

Tendinitis is a type of inflammation that can cause a tendon to fray, tear, or even swell.

  • Ankle tendonitis can happen in a few different ways and can be incredibly painful, especially when running.
  • Peroneal tendonitis is a type of ankle tendonitis that causes your outer ankles to hurt when you run. This can be a big reason your ankles are hurting so much.

There are various other kinds of ankle tendonitis, but they all have the same sort of effect. In this sense, they will cause you massive discomfort when you are running and putting pressure and weight on them. 

3. Ankle Arthritis

This issue usually happens to older people, but that doesn’t mean that younger people are immune to it either.

  • When you suffer from ankle arthritis, this means that the joint in your ankle is weakened.
  • You will be prone to more stiffness and less mobility. 

If you notice any symptoms related to ankle arthritis appearing, it’s important that you see a doctor before you continue training.

Why Do My Ankles Hurt When I Run?

Ankle Pain Symptoms

There are plenty of ankle pain symptoms to watch out for and it is important that you catch them early on so you can get the issue treated.

If you leave the symptoms for too long, this usually causes more serious complications in the future. 

Some of the most important symptoms to look out for include: 

  • Reduced ability to run, and walk. 
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Sharp pain in all parts of the ankle
  • A constant “dull” aching
  • Pinching sensations

There are other symptoms to look out for when dealing with ankle pain, but these are the most common and easy to identify.

If you do feel any of these symptoms in your ankle area, it’s in your best interest to contact and book an appointment with your doctor.

Catching the symptoms early means that you can get a diagnosis and treat the problem before it becomes too serious. 

How To Prevent Ankle Pain When Running

There may be a lot of symptoms and reasons why your ankle hurts when you are running, but luckily, there are also plenty of things you can do to prevent that pain.

Try some of these things out for yourself and see if they help with your ankle pain.

If you are already being treated by a doctor, then check these things out with them before you try them. 

  • Braces – By wearing a brace, or even a supportive wrap, you can relieve a lot of your ankle pain. The brace will limit your whole foot’s motion range, preventing any extra injuries.

Example of an ankle brace: TechWare Pro ankle brace.

It is suitable for injury prevention and recovery.

TechWare Pro Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve - Relieves Achilles Tendonitis, Joint Pain. Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sock with Arch Support Reduces Swelling & Heel Spur Pain. (Black/Pink, L/XL)
  • RICE – This doesn’t involve sticking your ankle in actual rice, rather it stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). This is a recovery strategy that is commonly used in athletic circles. For this technique, you simply need to rest your joint and keep as much weight off of it as possible, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes, then compress the ankle which will minimize any swelling/inflammation, and finally, elevate the ankle to optimize blood flow to the area. 
  • Physical therapy – There are some physical therapy exercises you can do at home without the aid of a professional. Some of the most popular and beneficial include ankle circles, calf raises, and resistant band workouts. If you don’t know how to do these exercises, you can find guides online that will show you how to do them. 

These methods are great to implement in your warm-ups and cool-downs to help minimize ankle pain and injury. 

Final Thoughts

Ankle pain can be a real drag, and it’s certainly a big problem when it comes to running.

There are many symptoms and reasons why ankle pain happens, but luckily there are plenty of things you can do to minimize and prevent it from getting worse. 

As long as you listen to your body and seek medical help when you need to, you should still be able to run, even if you are suffering from some ankle pain.

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