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I’ve been working on my ankle for about 2 1/2 years. I’m getting really close to being fixed but I’m still not quite there. Depending on how long you’ve had the problem, an ankle problem can be more than an ankle problem. I’m almost 40 and it’s possible my problems stem from a nasty sprain I had in 4th grade – exacerbated by every other sprain I had since then. I had almost no dorsiflexion in my right ankle. Doing the “knee to wall” test, I couldn’t get my knee past my toes. My right hip was just as messed up with almost no range of motion. They only way I could walk was turning my foot out with a circumducting gait. If my left leg were as bad off as my right leg I would have been completely incapable of walking down stairs. Before I started fixing everything, doing the 10-minute squat test my right foot would turn out and I would fall backward just about the point where my thighs got to parallel with my feet hip width apart. Now I can almost get into the deep ass-to-heels squat with toes and heels touching.
The heel will remain inverted in relaxed calcaneal
stance, which may predispose to inversion sprain of the
ankle and hyperkeratosis over the lateral border of the heel.
In an attempt to stabilise the foot, the first ray plantarflex-
es to make ground contact, giving the foot a high arch pro-
file. Alternatively, hallux flexus progressing later into a
hallux rigidus may develop. As a result of the lack of STJ
pronation, the foot assumes a rigid posture with the MTJ
remaining locked from the beginning of the stance phase of
gait. This diminishes the shock absorbing function of the
foot and problems affecting the knee, the hip and the lower
back may arise. The lack of STJ pronation also causes an
abductory twist to assist in the transfer of weight from the
lateral to the medial side of the foot. This may cause
hyperkeratosis over the medial aspect of the hallux and may also cause a heloma durum
over the plantar aspect of the fifth metatarsal head.
I had good success recently attacking the medial side of the lower leg. I can feel tension all the way from the calcaneous to the knee. Keep working on the ankle, but go after the hip joint also and go after the soft tissues of the upper and lower leg. Do some wide squats to open the hips and work on your splits. If, like me, your foot has been turned out for decades the soft tissues are going to be twisted around the tibia and femur. You can’t fix that overnight. One last piece of advice, do yoga. Yogis have ways of stretching you out in ways would never dream of. Different instructors have their own things they like to do so go to a variety of classes led by different instructors. Even the right cue in Warrior 2 might cause a stretch in your back foot that will improve ankle function.