This area of the body warrants a close look at the anatomy, while the technique itself is very simple.
This one small area, when fascially restricted, can wreak havoc on the entire foot, ankle, heel, plantar fascia and quite possibly a lot of things upstream as well, such as knees, the groin, the SI area and possibly even your neck and head (headaches CAN sometimes be related to this line of fascia being too tight/restricted).
We’re not going to look at the entire body or ALL the ways this one area can impact the body.
Today I want to focus on 3 main things: plantar fasciitis and/or heel pain that is showing up directly in line with the flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior tendons, and how this area plays a part in rolling ankles.
You’ll need a lacrosse ball for this one. I do NOT recommend using any other ball, nor do I recommend a theracane (I’ve seen some people use this). The first is too big, and the second too pointed and you’ll likely bruise (something I’m always trying to avoid).
There’s a lot going on in this one small area: the medial head of the gastrocnemius along with the soleus (meidal) and their fascia can get stuck to each other and to the flexor digitorum longus fascia. The flexor digitorum longus, when over-tight (or stuck to other muscles via their connecting fascia), can over-invert the foot, making the ankle susceptible to being rolled.
Also potentially leading to over-inversion of the foot is tibialis posterior, and via its tendon can contribute to ankle pain or heel pain between the ankle and calcaneus.
While we won’t necessarily be getting it directly, this technique can help free up the tibialis posterior, particularly the posterior tibialis TENDON which has a big impact on heel and ankle health.
If you have flat feet, fallen arches or your foot drops (arch collapses) while walking, this is one area to look at (it may not be the culprit) along with everything in the lateral line – ankle and foot fascia, tibialis anterior, perroneals, IT Band fascia etc.
The relationship these two (the medial and lateral lines of fascia) have with one another can determine SO much of what happens in our bodies, because everything in the foot and ankle determines our stride and what happens upstream. If your ankle doesn’t articulate well or creates an unhealthy gait pattern, that pattern transfers up to the knees, hips and shoulders.
As usual around here, I’m less concerned with naming all the muscles involved than talking about the restricted fascia between and around all these muscles.
Fascia also wraps our bones, and I believe this is one area of the body where the fascia of these muscles is particularly clogged or stuck to the bone (in this case the tibia).
The technique I demonstrate in the video isn’t nearly as effective as the in person version that I use on clients, but it’s an acceptable self-help solution (or I wouldn’t be giving it to you).
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