Pain on the inside of your ankle is relatively common, and is often associated with flat feet. This pain may indicate an injury to a very strong tendon known as your posterior tibial tendon or deltoid ligaments, either through overuse or through an acute injury. Because this tendon is hard to injure without a fracture or a serious foot issue, it\’s best to get the injury checked out by a doctor even if the pain you experience is relatively mild. Your ankle is an important weight-bearing joint for the body, and is held together with large clusters of tendons that attach to the muscles in your calf and foot. These muscles pull the tendons of your ankle, enabling the spring-like motion of your foot during a run. Your posterior tibial tendon, also known as the deltoid ligaments (not to be confused with the deltoid muscle in the shoulder) is located on the inside of the ankle. This tendon is one of the largest in the ankle, and is also one of the least likely to be injured. It\’s primarily responsible for raising the arch of your foot and stabilizing the ankle joint. Read More: It\’s highly unlikely that you\’ll tear your posterior tibial tendon without a serious injury.
Your fibula bone (the bony protrusion on the outside of your ankle) tends to prevent any over-stretching in this particular tendon. Your ankle simply can\’t rotate far enough outwards to strain the tendon. A tear is unlikely also because the tendons at the opposite side of the ankle aren\’t as strong, so you\’ll more than likely strain them first by rolling your ankle inwards. Tibialis posterior syndrome is a more common cause of pain on the inside of your ankle, which results from slow-onset inflammation and soreness in the posterior tibial tendon. It\’s commonly associated with flat feet, since the tendon is responsible for stabilizing the foot and raising the arch while you run. Tibialis posterior syndrome is very common, and occurs from overuse or repeated impact. For runners, it may slowly tear over time from the repeated impact of your step, allowing the arch to collapse over time. High-impact sports like basketball or tennis may increase the likelihood for strain. You\’ll notice pain or soreness, and you may or may not notice associated swelling. Pain may also be the result of an acute injury, like a bad fall. This tendon is most commonly injured if you fracture your ankle.
A bad tear in this tendon is usually associated with tears to other surrounding tendons, or a fracture in the ankle joint itself. Your doctor may want to conduct an x-ray to rule out a fracture. If you experience pain on the inside of your ankle, discontinue running immediately, as this can aggravate the affected area and slow the healing process. Rest the joint, apply ice and compression and consult a doctor or physical therapist for an X-ray to rule out any associated injuries. Treatment of tibialis posterior syndrome may include the use of a custom orthotic to address flat-footedness, and many doctors will recommend an ankle brace or physical therapy as well. Very few people who fracture their ankle manage to tear this particular tendon in the process. If there is a bad tear, surgery may be necessary for a full recovery. Read More:
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, runners are more susceptible to injuries than the average person. Some of these injuries can cause pain to the muscles surrounding the ankle and shin. While many of the injuries can be alleviated with rest, some create more serious complications.
If you are having ankle or shin muscle pain while running, you should stop and have your pain evaluated by a doctor. Strains along the muscles and joints of the ankles can cause pain. A common cause of ankle muscle pain caused by running is a strain, or tears along the muscles or joints of the ankle. They can be from an acute injury or trauma, or they can be chronic from overuse. The repetitive movements of running, without proper rest, can easily cause an ankle strain. Another cause is a sprain, which is a tear of ligament fibers rather than muscles. Because it may be difficult to differentiate between a strain and a sprain, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor. Shin splints are a common cause of shin pain. Shin splints, a common cause of shin pain among runners, is an inflammation of the muscles, tendons and outer covering of the front of the shin bone, or tibia. It is caused by the repetitive pressure along the shin, and occurs more often in runners with flat feet. A rare but serious condition causing pain to the muscles surrounding the shin is called chronic exertional compartment syndrome, which occurs when blood cannot flow properly because of pressure within the muscle compartment.
The pain is usually intense, occurs after exertion and is relieved with rest. The only permanent treatment for this condition is surgery. Wear properly fitting shoes. There are steps you can take to prevent muscle pain in the ankles and shins, including wearing properly fitting shoes and having a professional check your running gait to help you find the best shoes to run in. Another option is taking a day off and resting at least every three days between runs. Stretching before and after running will stretch out the muscles surrounding the ankles and shins. Resting for a period of time can help heal the cause of your pain. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting for a period of time, depending on the injury, can help heal the cause of your pain. Decreasing swelling by icing the painful area for 20 minutes several times daily, using a compression bandage and elevating the affected extremity above the heart will also help. Taking anti-inflammatory medication will provide relief by decreasing inflammation, but check with your doctor first.