Flexibility Related to Foot and Ankle Issues

The NHL post season is in full swing and the Tampa Bay Lighting are holding their own! After a tough loss last night to the New Jersey Devils the Lightning are hoping to bounce back to top form in order to close out the series. As a Philadelphia Flyers fan and casual Lightning fan one thing I have noticed watching them play is how flexible and agile their star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is. He can stretch from post to post without much effort. Of course, his large frame helps him achieve this, however, he is much more flexible compared to the average person. This brings me to to the point of this blog: Flexibility.

As a Podiatrist dealing with a wide array of foot and ankle issues, flexibility often plays a role. The foot has 28 bones and hundreds of muscle attachments that are programed to function within a very narrow “window” of normal. Too flexible, or not flexible enough can cause havoc on any number of these bones/joints. I find myself constantly instructing people to stretch, and/or prescribing things to limit motion, it’s a delicate balance! 

Because the overwhelming majority seem to fall into the category of “stretch more”, I will focus on that! The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and in my opinion is the most important muscle involved with foot and ankle pathologies. A tight achilles tendon alters the way a person walks (even if ever so slightly), which can lead to a litany of problems, that could easily be prevented with Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mobility! The reality is, we are all not professional athletes with endless time and resources available to us to achieve this increase in mobility, and that is were we come in. We treat the problems brought about by this tightness in a variety of ways.

Super Pulsed Laser Therapy is one way to increase blood flow and therefore stimulate healing to an aggravated area. Custom orthotics are also beneficial to help rebalance the muscles in the foot and take strain off the Achilles. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is another fantastic way to kick the lingering Achilles pains.  We have something for everyone! 

If you find yourself experiencing foot or ankle pain and are not able to butterfly from post to post, then give us a call, more then likely something moves to much, or not enough, and we can help!

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