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I have regular ankle pain after my running sessions: what can I do?

Pleasant to do and good for your health, running can also cause a certain amount of ankle pain. Do your ankles ache after your sessions, and you're not sure what to do? Here are a few recommendations to give you the best possible relief.

Symptoms of ankle pain after running

Ankle injuries are common among runners, and a source of frustration. Post-running pain can be caused by a number of different pathologies.

Ankle pain: which pathologies?

We distinguish between pain caused by trauma (falls, twists, sudden changes of direction) and pain that appears progressively and regularly, for no apparent reason.

In the first case, ankle pain may indicate :

  • A sprained ankle

  • One or more fractures

  • A ruptured Achilles tendon

In the second case, it may be due to :

  • an imbalance linked to a malformation of the feet (such as flatfoot)

  • muscular imbalance of the ankle

  • Achilles tendon tendonitis

  • osteoarthritis of the ankle

Finally, poor running technique can be responsible for regular pain after your sessions.

The main symptoms

Ankle pain rarely occurs in isolation. In the event of trauma, this symptom is generally accompanied by :

  • swelling of the ankle to varying degrees

  • a hematoma (indicating bleeding)

  • difficulty mobilizing the ankle (sometimes to the point of impossibility)

  • Difficulty remaining supported on the injured foot

Regular pain is more gradual in onset, and interferes little with activity. That said, they must be diagnosed and treated, to avoid aggravation or further injury.

What to do if you experience regular ankle pain when running?

If you suffer from regular Ankle pain after your running sessions, the best thing to do is consult your doctor. He or she will be able to examine your ankle clinically, and refer you for imaging tests if necessary. In fact, the ankle is a vulnerable joint which is subject to a great deal of strain during running. So it's important to take the pain seriously, to avoid more serious injury, and to be able to run again in good conditions.

Of course, if the pain doesn't subside spontaneously, it's also a good idea to stop running - at least until medical advice has been obtained. Ankle pain is generally diagnosed clinically. In case of doubt, the doctor may prescribe imaging tests.

In all cases, ankle rehabilitation is an important part of the treatment. It helps to reduce symptoms and strengthen the ankle after a proven injury; and to correct any imbalances at the root of your recurring pain.

Ankle treatment in physiotherapy

Physiotherapy treatment of the ankle can encompass several aspects, depending on the pathology diagnosed by the doctor.

After trauma, massage and physiotherapy gradually reduce pain and swelling. Ankle mobilization helps restore normal mobility to the joint, which has been impaired by injury and immobilization.

Specific muscle-strengthening exercises help stabilize the ankle, and compensate for the imbalances at the root of the problem. The result is a return to sport in optimal conditions. The physiotherapist's role is also to advise athletes on improving their running technique and modifying their equipment (shoes). These are underestimated causes of post-session pain.



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