Get To The Root of Your Ankle Pain!
Do you have pain in the front of your ankle, especially when trying to stretch your calf? You’re not alone if you think stretching is the best solution, but this may actually make the problem worse! That’s because the underlying problem may not be a tight muscle, but the ankle joint itself.
LET’S BREAK DOWN THE ANATOMY OF THE ANKLE
The ankle joint is comprised of 3 major bones: the talus (a bone along the top of your foot) and the tibia and fibula (two bones in the lower leg).
The joint functions normally when the tibia and fibula separate to allow the talus to slide backwards in between the two bones. This allows the ankle to bend upwards toward the shin.
If the talus does not easily move between the tibia and fibula, it will limit mobility in your ankle joint. Many people interpret this as a lack of calf flexibility, but really the calf is not being stretched at all. The limitation in joint mobility may actually cause calf tightness in the future which creates a vicious circle of joint/muscle confusion.
BREAKING THE CYCLE
Schedule an evaluation with a specialized physical therapist to determine the root cause of your ankle pain. Treatment to get you back to your active lifestyle may include:
- Manual physical therapy
- Joint mobilization of the talus and surrounding muscles in the leg that may be tightening the joint
- Massage therapy
- Trigger Point Dry Needling to loosen muscle knots
- Home joint mobilization (see video below)
There are many joints in the ankle, foot, and knee that can play a role in moving with pain. If you find your pain doesn’t disappear after a week of icing and rest, give us a call for an individualized evaluation from a specialized physical therapist!