With spring in full effect and the weather becoming nicer, more and more people are venturing outside for daily jogs, marathons, or even hitting the treadmill on those rainy days. While from a bird eye view running seems like a relatively harmless sport, ankle and foot injuries are still very common and can happen anytime during the running process.
Pain, as we see it, is just a symptom of a bigger underlying issue when it comes to ankle pain while running. Therefore, it’s important to find out what is causing the pain in the first place.
Achilles Tendonitis – The Achilles tendon, the long tendon at the back of your ankle the band of tissue connects muscles in your ankle to the bone. The tendon’s main role is to enable you to raise your heel off the ground. This makes sense why running would put you at risk for Achilles tendonitis. Mostly caused by the overuse of the tendon from running for many years, this case of tendonitis occurs when the tendons tear, swell or shred. Tendonitis usually heals on its own with adequate rest and recovery time. Other treatment options include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and wearing supportive shoes or orthotics.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – Just as excess pressure on the nerves in the wrist can spark carpal tunnel syndrome, the same can occur with running. As the ligaments in the ankle swell, the built-up pressure puts even more pressure on the nerves in the heel can lead to damage of the posterior tibial nerve. While many people with less severe tarsal tunnel syndrome opt to wear more supportive running shoes, orthotics, or take anti-inflammatory medication, people who suffer from mild to severe cases, may consider surgical treatment options when nerve damage has occurred.
Chronic Ankle Instability – This condition is characterized by pain or swelling in the outer ankle area or other less obvious symptoms such as ankle instability, or the ankle turning inward towards the body. If the damaged ligaments, caused by either a sprain other related injury, do not fully heal, the foot is at risk for another sprain since the connective tissue is already fragile. Runners tend to overlook the first symptoms of chronic ankle instability because they get used to the weak condition of their ankle and adjust to their limitations instead of strengthening their ankle with physical therapy. As a result, the condition persists because it never had a chance to heal properly. Most common treatment options for this condition are physical therapy, wearing a brace, or medication.
We’ll talk more about prevention in our next blog, so be sure to visit here again.
As always, if your feet are hurting for any reason, make sure to call our Evanston office – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons at 847-475-9030, or Downtown Chicago office – Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute at 312-236-3507. Our care options for foot injuries and pain include some of the most cutting-edge procedures and technologies available!