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Ankles and Feet Hurt When I Run

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I'm a 13 year old softball player. Recently at tryouts, I noticed that when I ran my ankles hurt really really bad. They're not swollen or anything, but it HURT. I told my mom, and she thought nothing of it. See, I'm not the kind of girl to give into pain, but I almost started crying. When I start crying, you know it hurts. I was just wondering if anyone knows whats going on and if they know how to keep it from happening again because I have practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and games on Saturdays(starting in a month).


*Along with the above STUFF(^^^^^^) my feet and ankles seem to "pop" a lot. Mostly when I'm walking or going up/down stairs
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replied February 29th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
EmmaNem98,

The snap, crackle, pop sound from the ankle is called benign crepitus. This is actually very common, as many people have the popping sound when they walk up stairs. In some people, it is so loud you can hear it from across the room.

There has not been any association of the benign crepitus with pain or other disorders in the joint. The crepitus can occur in any joint in the body, but people note it mostly in the knee, ankles, and fingers. Cracking the finger knuckles is a type of crepitus. We still do not know the cause of the sound.

However, that is not to say that the sound could not be associated with some problem in the ankles. But, usually, the sound and the problem are two separate things. Even if the other disorder is taken care of the popping may not go away.



But, as to your pain in the ankles and feet. Do you have the same pain when you run in your other athletic shoes? If not, the pain you have in softball may be coming from your cleats. Baseball cleats sometimes do not have the best arch supports and padding in them. Again, make sure it is not coming from your cleats.


If you have pain every time you run, no matter what shoes you are wearing, then it is going to be a little more difficult to figure out what is going on. It is hard to tell exactly what is going on, over the internet. You really need to examine the foot and ankle to get an idea of what the problem is.


Such as, where do your feet hurt? To say all over, really doesn't help very much. Exactly where do they hurt? Is it in the ankle joint, around the big ankle bones (the medial and lateral malleolus)? Or is it more in the arch of the foot? Is it more in the ball of the foot or the toes? Where is really important. Because that will narrow down what could be causing the problem.


There are a lot of things that could be causing pain in the ankles/feet in an adolescent. If you have a trainer at your school, you might ask him/her to take a look at your ankles. If your Mom doesn't want to take you to the physician, and you do not have a trainer, you might ask your coach or school nurse to take a look at your ankles.


If you can give a little more information, I might be able to give you some ideas of what might be wrong.

In addition to the above questions, do your ankle hurt any time else? Have they hurt like this before? Have you sprained or twisted your ankles in the past? What is the pain like, is it dull and achy lasting a long time, or is it a sharp pain lasting for only a few moments, is it burning in nature or electrical? Do you have any other symptoms, such as numbness or tingling, redness, warmth, anything? Anything else that might be of help?


So, again, if you can get me a little more information, I might be able to better tell what is going on.

Good luck.
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replied March 6th, 2012
Actually, it will happen in any type of shoe - even barefoot! It does happen almost every time I run, and the pain is around the large bone in my ankle. It lasts about 8 minutes,slowly dulls, and when I stop running and walk, it continues. I have sprained my right ankle before (let's just say its not a good idea to jump over a tricycle...). And I forgot to add that it also happens to my knees. Same thing - starts out sharp but then slowly dulls.
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replied March 6th, 2012
Actually, it will happen in any type of shoe - even barefoot! It does happen almost every time I run, and the pain is around the large bone in my ankle. It lasts about 8 minutes,slowly dulls, and when I stop running and walk, it continues. I have sprained my right ankle before (let's just say its not a good idea to jump over a tricycle...). And I forgot to add that it also happens to my knees. Same thing - starts out sharp but then slowly dulls.
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replied March 6th, 2012
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EmmaNem98,

Sorry that this continues to be a problem. But, again, it will probably take a thorough examination to determine what is going on.

When you say around the big bone of the ankle, I think you mean the lateral malleolus (the bone that sticks out on the outside of the ankle).

Pain around the lateral malleolus can come from a lot of things, depending upon where the pain is located.

If it is sort of behind the malleolus, it could be from the peroneal tendons. These can be inflamed, causing a tenosynovitis. They can also sublux, moving in and out of their groove. It could be from the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). It could be from an os trigonum, which is a tiny extra bone in the back of the ankle that can only be seen on x-ray.

If it is below the malleolus, or on the tip, it could still be coming from the peroneal tendons. Or it could be from the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL).

In the front, or anterior aspect, it could be from the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). The is a condition called a Wollin lesion, or a meniscoid like lesion, which forms in the tibiofibular joint. It could be from a tarsal coalition.


So, there are a lot of things that this could be coming from. The above are just a few suggestions, it may not even be any of these.


If this continues to be a problem, you will probably have to have it looked at. There is just no way, over the internet, to tell you exactly what the problem is.

You might, in the mean time, see if you can get someone to tape up your ankle when your play. Or, get one of the lace up ankle supports. There are several types of ankle supports, but the lace up type probably provides the best support.


Good luck. Hope your ankle feels better. Have fun playing softball (it's a great sport).


PS It is not uncommon for pain to start out sharp and dull as you fight through it. That is just one way for the body to be able to put up with things, and continue on. It is part of the "fight or flight" mechanism. If the pain stayed sharp all the time, you would not be able to fight off the bear, or run away from it. Hope that makes sense.

Again, hope you figure out what is causing your problem. Good luck.
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replied April 7th, 2012
I have been wearing ankle braces when I play, and that seems to help. I think I just have slightly weak ankles, and the extra support from the ankle braces helps a lot.
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