Should I Stop Running if I Have Foot Ligament Pain?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I started walking/jogging recently. About a month later my right foot developed a lot of pain on the upper side that to me feels like the ligaments. Should I stop exercising?

Doctor's response

Beginning a new exercise program can have set-backs early on as the body is adjusting to the routine. Any pain in the foot and/or ankle of a runner is an indication that it is time to rest and evaluate the situation. Problems that gradually come on a month or so after starting an exercise can be minor or a sign of a more serious foot condition. A reassessment of the exercise regimen (warm-up, hills, speed, etc.) and proper footwear can minimize foot injury. It is generally best to wait until all pains are gone prior to reinstitution of exercise. If pains persist in spite of resting, an evaluation by a qualified medical professional should take place. There are many injuries that can cause the symptoms that you describe, ranging from ligament strain and tendinitis to stress fracture (a small crack) of the bone.

Thank you for your question and I hope you can enjoy your exercise again soon.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018