Ankle stiffness is super-duper common and one of the single biggest risk factors for other lower limb injuries (think hip or knee)… It’s even a risk factor for back pain and a common cause of poor foot mechanics and fallen arches. Ankle stiffness typically results when the handful of muscles that make up the calf get short and tight or following an injury to the joints of the ankle, such as a sprain.
The other common cause of ankle stiffness is inactivity… we’ve all heard the saying ‘use it or lose it’ and that really rings true at the ankles, where slow paced walking and lots of time sitting mean we don’t use their full range of motion often enough.
Athletes are also susceptible to ankle tightness or pain and we see injuries commonly in high impact activities like running & jumping sports, where the ankle must adapt to changing terrain and recoil rapidly to generate propulsion. Weight lifters also need adequate ankle mobility to load optimally, a good base of support is key.
Myotherapy can offer a range of gentle and effective treatment techniques to help with this condition.
A myotherapy approach to ankle pain and stiffness usually starts with some gentle soft tissue massage to the surrounding muscles of the foot and calf. Then where needed we can use cupping and dry needling to really help reduce trigger point activity and soften tight muscles. Mobilisation to the ankle joint will also allow for a greater range of motion and often a reduction in pain.
We can even give you targeted exercises to help keep the mobility and to gain more strength in the muscles of the feet and calves.
You can learn about the various ways we can optimise your foot function by checking out the other blogs in the MOH Foot & Ankle series: