Unusual ankle injury

edited May 2013 in Running Injuries
Hey all,

I'm dealing with a bit of an odd injury: My left ankle is bothering me, but only only when I walk, not when I run. Basically, at the start of each run I might feel a bit of a sharp pain in the ankle for the first few strides, but then it goes away (it's not painful enough that it changes my gait, as far as I can tell). It's almost as if the ankle is a bit stiff and just needs to get loose. I also experience the pain later in the day after periods of inactivity (when I get off the train to work, when I get up from my desk). I usually wear boots to work, and get the feeling that they might be exacerbating the pain, so I wore sneakers today, and while the ankle is still acting up, it's not as bad as usual.

Normally with an injury I'd just take a few days off, but since it's not bothering me while running, I'm not sure if this would do any good. Anyone ever experienced anything similar and have any advice? I was thinking that some ankle stretches might do the trick.


  • Have you done anything differently lately that might have caused it? Have you changed shoes?

    How is the tightness or flexibility of your calves?

    How good is your core strength? Do you do core exercises?
  • This might help it's a video on ankle injuries:

  • I wouldn't say this symptom is very unusual for something ankle related. Can you locate it at the ankle? No idea when and why it started? Sudden increase in running volume/intensity?

    Sprained my ankle while trail running many years ago (stupid one inch stack height shoes!!!). Still have pain today. Particulary in the morning when going down the stairs. Even stopped running for almost a year. No effect. Did all those things mentioned in the video above. No effect. Medical literature says that almost 70% of all sprained ankles turn into "chronic ankle instability" with symptoms showing up many years after. And this data is based on a sample that received proper medical treatment for their actue injuries.

    Yours is not sprain related but as you can see ankles are a tricky business. Sometimes one just have to live with it.


  • Thanks all. I do crunches regularly but haven't been good about other core exercises recently. It's been stiff for a while now (I ran a half recently, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it). I haven't really changed anything either, but this past week it's bothered me while walking. Advil seems to help a bit. I haven't run the past two days and I'm on vacation now, so I'll test it tomorrow but won't push it if I feel anything bad. 

    The pain is specifically low and at the front of my ankle, where the foot starts.
  • Actually, I did go for my first trail run in a while now a week ago, so that might have done it. I had also done some speedwork (not much) earlier that day. Might have pushed too hard. 
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