The muscles on the front of the lower leg are some of the hardest to self-massage, foam roll, or stretch in the body and I find my clients are forever searching for ways to release these areas. Pain and restriction in the muscles of the anterior shin can be debilitating and effect the way we move. Overuse, weakness, or biomechanical imbalances are all plausible contributing factors.
The usual culprits …
The Tibialis Anterior and Peroneus Longus
The tibialis anterior muscle is a long superficial muscle on the front of the leg. The belly of the muscle begins near the outside of the lateral knee, follows the edge of the shin bone before inserting into the foot.
The Peroneus longus is a more lateral leg muscle that inserts on the bottom of the foot at the same location as the Tibialis Anterior. Together these two muscles form a stirrup which loops around the foot helping to establish its stability and control its movement.
An important function of the Tibialis Anterior is dorsiflexion – pulling the top of the foot towards the shin. Dorsiflexion results in the lifting of the toes off the ground, which is an important motion during walking, and running. The tibialis anterior also provides a slight turning inwards of the foot by pulling the bottom surface of the foot toward the body’s midline. This motion is important in balancing the body’s weight on the foot during locomotion or standing, and is especially important when standing on one foot. From a performance perspective, squatting, deadlifting, bent over rows, lunges, prowler pushing, are all movements that could be adversely effected by tight muscles of the anterior shin.
Below: Absolute Performance Coach Steve Hissey maintains proficient ankle mobility to ensure clean movement patterns while Olympic lifting
30 Minute Fix …
At Absolute Health & Performance we take an integrated approach to pain management and movement integrity through a combination of multi disciplines. Soft Tissue Therapy techniques combined with 3D movement exercises are an example of the way in which we are facilitating better outcomes for our clients.
Below: I release the anterior shin using remedial massage techniques. This allows the ankle to de-load while considerate pressure is worked through the tissue.
Once the tension has been released from the belly of the muscles, and the tendon have been de loaded from the joints, active movement techniques such as the 3D calf complex are indicated as a great way to return the control back without sitting in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous stretch.
Below: Absolute I demonstrates a 3D calf complex to enhance better joint movement after soft tissue treatment.
To find out more on how massage therapy can help you in managing injuries & stress and improve performance, come on in to see Absolute and see our specialist James Meredith or call us to book now on 8547 4830.