There are common sets of symptoms we deal with on a regular basis for athletes participating in running and jumping sports. These symptom patterns originate in one of two places most of the time; either the hip or the foot. Today we are going to address the foot as the primary source and why problems can occur. Over time an athlete will create a repetitive stress to the body that, without attention, can lead to larger problems down the line.
Shin, calf and knee pain are all common complaints of runners that usually begin with limited foot and ankle mobility. The foot and ankle act as shock absorbers during the run gait and, if restricted, will transfer that force into the muscles and bones of the lower leg, knee and hip, which increase the likelihood of injury. This restriction develops in PLANTAR-flexion (toes pointed downward) with tightened soft tissues due to the repetitive calf contraction. To offset the restriction and lack of mobility these athletes should focus on a few stretches to help prevent and relieve this pain.
Check out our videos below of Dr. Korey Sessions explaining how to do these stretches at home.