Treadmills & Ankle Pain

Many people who regularly use a treadmill for aerobic training experience ankle pain or tendinitis, though no more often than ordinary walking, jogging or running. As people increase their treadmill workouts, the risk of tendinitis, heel pain and plantar fascitis goes up.

Prior Conditions 

1.        If you already have tendinitis or bone spurs, or you're an overpronator, a treadmill can aggravate the underlying condition. Defects in the bone structure of toes, feet, ankles or legs can stress muscles and tendons and lead to inflammation and pain. Attempts to compensate for the problem can lead to an incorrect gait that aggravates the problem. Varying your workout to include running or walking on rough surfaces like trails or mountain paths is a good way to reduce injuries caused by repetition..


2.       The correct jogging or running technique is to land heel first, and then roll through the step from heel to toe. As the toe comes down, the other foot comes forward for the next stride. The toe of the trailing foot prepares to give you a push off into your next step. Make sure you wear shoes that are flexible enough to allow this movement but still provide support.


3.       Proper stretching and warmup are essential to avoid injuring your ankles. Just a few minutes of limbering up will prepare the muscles and bones for exercise.


4.       Try to find a shoe that is lightweight and flexible, but offers the kind of ankle support you need. For jogging or running, get running shoes. For walking, use walking shoes. If you have cross-training shoes, they're OK for light workouts, but lack the features of shoes for specific exercises.

Strength Training

5.       For individuals with weak ankles, a regimen of ankle-strengthening exercise can help prepare the ankle for treadmill workouts and reduce your risk of injury. Resistance bands or heel raises done regularly can help make your ankles strong enough to avoid problems.


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