Why Do Your Ears Hurt After Running? All You Need To Know

You may have heard a lot of runners, beginners and pros, complain about aching ankles, hips, and knees after and even during their runs. However, when you have a problem with your ears, it may need some serious attention.


It is rare to develop an earache while running. But, many people experience this issue. In fact, a lot of them are complaining of a severe and sharp ear pain during or after running.But, why do your ears hurt after running?

For you not to be bothered anymore, we have listed some of the reasons why you experience an earache after running.

Causes Of Ear Pain After Running

#1 Constriction Of Your Blood Vessels

You can commonly experience the impediment of your blood vessels after your long distance runs. However, you need to know that it may cause severe pain in the ears. The problem becomes apparent when you train at high altitudes or in cold weather.

Whether caused by too much pressure and stress or cold weather, your blood vessels become constricted. So, the blood flowing to your ears reduce.

When carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange happens via your blood, the oxygen may become higher in the ear drums during these circumstances.

Thus, these cause immense pressure and stress. As the pressure develops, your ears will start aching after your movements.

#2 Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Such illness occurs when the acid in your stomach cause backflow to your esophagus. It is a chronic digestive condition, and its usual symptom is heartburn. But, the disease may also cause chest pain, ear pain, coughing, and sore throat.

If you leave GERD untreated, it might cause frequent ear infections. In fact, according to experts, around 40% of the entire patients that experience hurt burn may experience the symptoms while running.

During your movements, the content of your stomach may move around too. With the constant motion, it becomes quicker for the content to head to the esophagus.

#3 Perforated Eardrum

A ruptured eardrum commonly occurs when tiny tears or holes appear in the thin lining that divides your middle ear from your ear canal. For some cases, a perforated eardrum may not be due to excessive movements.

The common causes of this condition may include hearing loud sounds, a sudden increase in air pressure, ear infection, severe head trauma, and small objects in the ear.

If you experience a rupture in your eardrum without you noticing it, running may worsen the situation. Aside from sharp pain, you may also experience vertigo, ringing in the ears, and drainage from your ear.

As you tend to move around and increase your blood circulation, your ears may experience higher pressure. In turn, it can severely irritate your eardrum.

Moreover, the sweat leaking into your ears may also stimulate intense pain from the perforated eardrum.

#4 Music From The Earbuds

While doing your long distance runs, you may tend to listen to music to help you get through your training. A lot of people obtain earbuds since they have small and innovative designs.

But, you need to remember that when the earbuds sit too long in your ears, they may cause intense pain. If they are too tiny for your ears, they can also irritate the surrounding skin in your ears.

On the other hand, bigger earbuds can also cause too much pressure and stress on your ear canal. So, to prevent an earache, you have to get earbuds that can snugly fit in your ears. Also, make sure that they do not fall out so quickly.

#5 Other Reasons

Aside from the mentioned causes above, other people may have also developed sinusitis, ear infection, migraine, and a dull headache that leads to ear pain after running.

Also, a small insect entering your ears may not be unusual. But, it may also cause intense pain in the ears.

Preventing And Treating Ear Pain After Running

To avoid and deal with an earache you experience after your runs, you need to follow these steps:

  • You must take an anti-inflammatory drug prescribed by your doctor as the ear pain persists for a long time.
  • If a perforated eardrum causes your ear ache, you should avoid your training for a few days. The problem may heal on its own most of the time. But, for severe cases, you may consult your ENT specialist for examination.
  • If a foreign body is a reason for the ear pain, your physician may extract it using a specialized instrument.
  • To prevent ear pain, you may avoid increasing the volume of your music.
  • When running in places with higher altitudes, you should wear earplugs.
  • In cases of ear infection, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics.


You see, there are different reasons for your earache after running. So, what you need to do first is to determine the exact cause of the condition. The treatment may be as simple as a few days of rest, or it may be as complicated as surgery.

When you experience an earache due to your movements, you do not have to ignore it. Instead, you have to consult your physician for a proper evaluation and treatment.

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