Assessment - 1. Feet & Lower Legs

Everything in your body is affected by how the lower legs are functioning to support from 80-100% of the weight of your body.

Alignment and Balance

Foot Pain

Set the the insides of the feet to be parallel as shown in tan method and Look closely:

  1. Check the current pain/problem conditions
  2. History of pain/problem conditions
  3. Check the alignment of the feet, ankles, shins and calves

Imagine your feet and lower legs to be like either Spring A or B below:

Two Springs

Spring A absorbs impact better, is able to support more balanced in bending.

Spring B transfers impact from the ground up to the knee & hip, there is no ability to support at different angles in bending.

Typically the foot is either “falling inside” (Pronation) or “falling outside” (Supination).

Tendonitis
Tendonitis


Over-supination is usually caused by over-use type of injuries, occurring most frequently in runners and other stronger impact type of sports. Shock absorption is reduced and the stresses normally absorbed by the foot are then passed up the lower limb when a foot over-supinates.

Over-supination also causes an increased external (lateral) rotation force to be placed on the shin, knee and thigh which places additional stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the lower limb sometimes causing Shin Splints, Plantar Fascitis or mobility issues like Cuboid Syndrome.

Over-pronation can cause many problems, such as Achillies and Peronial Tendonitis or Bunions and Hammertoes.

Test Foot & Ankle Mobility in Flexion, Inversion, Eversion and Extension

Mobility

Most people are limited to flex and evert their foot to normal range, showing a lot of the overly tight and compressed muscle tissue in the feet, shins and calves.

This area is important for the kinetic chain of movement and alignment between the ankle, knee and hip joints in terms of walking, running, standing, etc.

Check the Stability of the Foot & Ankle

Flexibility

Does it tend to “roll” out easily being overstretched and hyper-mobile?
Does it have a history of inversion sprains?

Strengthening for the ankle is possibly needed to keep it more stable and aligned if the ankle is not stable enough.


A. Release Tight Areas

Later side of the Feet & Lower Legs

Use Massage Therapy or Body Rolling to target release more deeply in spot-by-spot approach for both the medial and lateral sides of the Feet, Shins and Calves.

These areas usually contains more compression problems vs. instability problems.

These areas contains the most weight bearing areas of the body.

Later side of the Feet & Lower Legs
Later side of the Feet & Lower Legs

B. Increase the Flexibility and Mobility

Flexibility

Try to keep a good balance of flexibility and mobility in the bones of the feet. Try to get the movement between the shins and calves more open and free.

C. Check & Release Nerve Blockages

Flexibility
Flexibility

If these nerves are blocked, it is good to understand how to release them:

1. The common peroneal nerve (CPN) arising from the sciatic nerve (SN) at the level of popliteal fossa. It travels around the fibular head deep to the origin of the peroneus longus muscle (PL).

2. The tibial (TN) nerve, Medial (MPN) and Lateral Plantar nerves (MPN and LPN), passing through the tarsal tunnel. FR: flexor retinaculum.

Flexibility
Flexibility

Achillies and Peroneal Tendonitis

Tendonitis
Tendonitis


For instance the Peroneal Tendonitis shown above can affect the knee as well as the amount of foot supination and pronation. It may also turn the foot out when standing and walking, thus affecting the hips and spine.

A shortened Achillies tendon can affect the amount of foot flexion and cause the the knees and hips to be affected. Its “more work” for the knee when the ankle flexion is limited by either of these two tendons.

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Cuboid Syndrome

Shin & Calf Conditions

Cuboid syndrome can cause lateral foot pain. According to the Sports Injury Clinic, cuboid syndrome occurs when the peroneus longus--a long, thin muscle in the lateral compartment of the leg--applies too much traction on the cuboid bone, causing it to partially dislocate. The block-like cuboid bone is one of seven tarsal bones in the foot. It's located on the lateral side of the foot, and it forms joints with several other foot bones. Common signs and symptoms associated with cuboid syndrome include pain in the lateral part of the foot during weight bearing activities, a coexisting ankle inversion sprain and significant overpronation or a rolling inward of the feet and ankles. The Sports Injury Clinic website states that effective treatment methods for cuboid syndrome include manipulation of the cuboid back into position and treating peroneal tendinitis, which may occur in conjunction with a partially dislocation cuboid.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/253981-what-are-the-causes-of-lateral-foot-pain/

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Plantar Fascitis

Foot Pain


The Plantar nerve entrapment (similar to Plantar Fascitis) can limit the weight that a person will put on that painful foot and thus shift their hips off-alignment to compensate for the condition.

Foot Pain
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Shin Splints

Foot Pain
Foot Pain

Shins and Calves are important in affecting the ankle and knee alignment in terms of walking, running, standing, etc.

Lower Legs can be approached from three different aspects - Front, Outside and Back for Release.

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Bunions and Hammertoes

Bunion
Hammertoes

When longterm over-Pronation occurs, strange bends start to happen in the metatarsals of the feet and the toes.

Its difficult to correct these issues in the toes themselves without correcting the longterm alignment imbalance in the feet, shins & calves.

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