Running is great exercise and a fun hobby, but it can put your ankles at risk of a strain or fracture. All it takes is landing on a rock or tripping against a curb to cause your ankle to twist. You can suffer from ankle injuries just by overdoing it too. When you injure your ankle, it's a good idea to have it examined by a podiatrist so it heals properly and you can get back to running as fast as possible in a safe way. Here are some other tips for preventing ankle injuries when you run.
Wear Quality Shoes
Buy athletic shoes made for running. These have increased flexibility in the front as well as more cushioning to absorb the shock of hitting the pavement when you run. It is worth the expense to buy quality shoes so your feet have the proper support. If you run daily, you'll need to replace your shoes more often because they will wear out faster. Wearing worn down shoes can increase your risk of an ankle injury.
Compensate For Gait Habits
If your feet have a tendency to roll to the outside when you run, you are at a higher risk of an ankle injury. Feet that roll to the inside can cause problems too, such as knee pain. When you shop for shoes, you'll want to find brands that help you compensate for these problems. You can also put inserts in your shoes that provide stability and cushioning for your feet. If foot rolling is a problem that leads to foot or ankle pain, talk to a foot and ankle specialis about the best shoes and inserts to wear so you can avoid injury.
Warm Up Your Ankles
It's important to stretch and warm up your ankles in the same way you stretch your calves before you begin running. Making circles with your ankles is one easy exercise you can do. Also, work up to longer and longer distances when you first start. Running long distances without building strength in your ankles might lead to an injury that puts an end to your running for several weeks while you heal.
Treat Minor Injuries
If you get a slight sprain, it's a good idea to rest and apply ice rather than force yourself to keep running to maintain your exercise schedule. Minor ankle injuries can lead to more serious problems. Prompt and proper treatment is needed. You don't always need to see a podiatrist for treatment of an ankle sprain if it heals right away, but when the pain lingers or when you get frequent sprains, seeing a podiatrist may help keep your ankles and feet in good shape so you can continue to run without further injury.
For more information, check out websites like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com.