Ankle and Lower Leg Muscle Imbalances
Ever gone shoe shopping and been asked if you are a pronator or supinator? Have you been told you walk like a duck or are pigeon toed? What does all of this mean and can it be helped, or is it genetics?
The positioning of your foot as you stand, walk, and run is dependent on how balanced your lower leg muscles are.
Suffering from issues like flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints are all tied to muscle imbalances. In assessing clients, I have found that by first working with lower leg stability, we can help improve their overall mobility.
Plantar fasciitis and shin splints are both symptoms of shortened, or tight calf muscles. The plantar fascia is a connective tissue under the bottom of your foot that connects at the calcaneus (heel bone) to the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius (calf muscle).
When the gastrocnemius is over active, it shortens and this in turn lengthens the anterior tibialis, or shin muscle.
Another effect of shortened gastrocnemius is foot eversion, or “duck” walking. Walking pigeon toed and having flat feet is attributed to the exact opposite, week calf and strong shin muscles.
Most of the time, people who suffer from these issues just live with the pain. However, with a little bit of daily foam rolling, and some careful training to achieve muscle balance, these problems can improve and in some cases go away all together!
Look out for more content from me on proper foam rolling technique!