As effective as rolling the muscles are with a ball and/or stretching is, the benefits are limited if the joints of the ankle and foot are not moving properly. If a joint is stuck, the muscles work harder trying to move it, which creates excess muscle tension and compensation patterns in other parts of the body.
Take this picture as an example. Client comes to me with symptoms of shin splints. While many muscles of their lower leg were tight, which we loosened up with soft tissue work, one of the biggest problems was that the heel bone was stuck.
With the heel bone not moving properly, it creates compensation muscle patterns up the leg, shin splints being one of them. After two 30 minute bodywork sessions, we got their heel in proper position and the shin pain decreased drastically.
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Dr. Vice Lujan, DC is a chiropractor in Bakersfield, CA. Besides full spine adjusting, Dr. Vice specializes in extremity work; reestablishing normal, pain-free range of motion of the shoulders, hips, elbows, ankles/feet, etc.