The Way You'Re Running Might Be Causing You Ankle Pain
If you're a runner, then you should take time and decide if your stride is causing you foot pain. While it might seem like running is a natural movement, there are different types of strides that can cause stress on your ankles. Generally speaking, there are two different areas that you should focus on if you're having ankle pain.
The first is how your foot lands. The second is where your foot lands. Here is a breakdown on what you need to look for.
How Does Your Foot Land: Beware Of Heel Strike
You might have heard about the trend of running barefoot. Some people wear specially designed sneakers that mimic the human foot. Other people have gone completely back to nature and really run barefoot. The reason they are doing this is because it is supposedly better from a bio-mechanical viewpoint.
When you run or walk without shoes, your foot will naturally land midfoot, on the ball of your foot. However, it is often the case that people who run in sneakers tend to heel strike. They land on the heel of their foot and then plant the middle of their foot right after. The shock of landing on the heel can injure the body. This sort of landing doesn't absorb the shock as a middle foot strike does.
This can be changed though mindfulness and practice. It helps to have someone videotape your form while you are on a treadmill. Some high-end gyms and sneaker stores even have an onsite treadmill and camera to help you see your stride. If you turn out to be a heel striker, then you should practice jogging very slowly, making sure that you are landing mid foot.
Where Your Foot Lands: Overstriding Leads To Injury
When you are out on the track running, you should make sure you are not overstriding. You don't want to have your legs land ahead of you. This can cause injuries to your ankles and knees. You want your legs to land under you. This type of stride is more fluid and you are not putting as much stress on your joints. You should be able to tell if you overstride by looking down as you jog. If your feet land in front of you and your upper body is behind, then you are overstriding. If you are still unsure, then you can have video taken of yourself running on a treadmill and examine it.
When You Need Professional Help
Even if you have decided to change your stride and the way your foot lands, you still should not shrug off pain. A running injury might not feel terrible right away, but if you continue to run, you risk doing serious damage. The old adage of "walking it off" should not be followed. You risk tearing a ligament in your ankle or doing serious injury to the tendons in your knee if you run while injured. If you feel pain while running, then you need to visit a doctor like one from Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine and have it checked out.