Soccer Ankles

Soccer players are some of the most interesting people I work on as they know the possess the stamina of a warrior but the amazing ability to abuse their bodies without even considering later consequences in most cases. Some of the most difficult cases I've worked on involve soccer players and I want to going to depth today about one particular aspect of soccer players health and that is the ankles.

The ankles of soccer player and rather unique because of the constant twisting jerking in pivoting motions they're involved in the game and the sheer amount of energy required to keep it running pace for extended periods of time really transforms the ankles over a period of time very very few sports they come even close to such demands on the ankles. The only sport I can think of I comes anywhere near the level of endurance and flexibility required would be the game of basketball. However the one thing that soccer does have that basketball is not is extented gameplay time.

From this point on a recommend that people Google the bones of the foot and look at an image of the foot before continuing some of the aspects that I'm about to get into a rather anatomical in nature and technical in your explanation. This is all to aid people in a better understanding of the importance of taking good care of these particular of athletes. So let's first talk about the basic anatomical structure of the human foot.

Starting at the top we have the Tibia in the Fibula this would make up the primary and secondary bone emerging from the knee and going down to what we commonly referred to as the human ankle. This area of the foot has the greatest range of motion of all the areas of the foot it pushes down on the rest of the foot causing traction and providing a force source for things like running and stretching. The Talus is the phone directly under the tibia it is the seat of the flexibility of the tibia which means that it receives all of the force of the lake directly upon it and provides for surface area to allow point of articulation for the Tibia and Fibula. Directly underneath that is a bone called the Calcaneus most people would know it as the bone that makes up your heel bone. This is also the bone where many bones spurs associated with plantar fasciitis are located and is well for the Achilles tendon pain caused by bone spurs is located as well. Because of its area of high mobility are you at a great deal of weight force projected upon the score holds happens causes a great deal of concern it comes to injury treatment. Many of the tenants but vessels and other vital tissues are located around these for bones. So when you have injury in this area often times find a great deal of internal scarring and a great deal of concern when it comes to mobility of these joints in the future which is why so many people need constant monitoring of the feet while in sports. 

I will at this point making important distinction for male athletes and female athletes comes to the abuse of their feet. The women to oftentimes wear high heels that are too high causing damage to these areas of the foot and it tends to be much more severe and man whore athletes in this area as far as repairing the damage and more chronic abuse during high intensity situations. You don't see too many women running marathons and high heels for example. 

Women's feet tend to be physically smaller near where the map again that's a generality not the rule in which case you must remember then force quit harassing to each gender is very different. Classically you do not see women having the same problem areas you tend to see more issues with women for athletes in the lower bones of the foot those closest to the toes because of sports like: ballet, tap dancing, figure skating, and gymnastics. 

In the upper part of the foot what I tend to see the most of is frozen ankle coming from internal scare tissue that formed after injuries. These injuries can be hours or years old. Not treating this scar tissue and removing it will cause a number of problems and athletic performance and because of the nature of internal skirts wish you could impact other parts of the body through decades of life thereafter. Simply soaking feet in Epson salt for example will certainly help but it will not remove this fibrous scar tissue from around these major joints and can also cause fluid retention in the body as a result because it will interrupt lymphatic drainage which is essential to good overall health. 

As we go down the foot will be given to explore the bones that help make up our toes. These bones are called metatarsals. And the parts that we see as toes are actually called Phalanges. Soccer players will oftentimes pivot on their toes this could put pressure on the phone so I connect to them as referred to previously the metatarsal bones. This reversed trance for a pressure can cause damage not only to the four joints that lead to the upper foot but can also become disfigured over time. Women can suffer this damage much more than man overall as a gender class however in this case soccer players tend to see more damage because of the nature of the shoes which protect her feet during play. Very similar to ballet shoes they don't offer a great deal of support on the tolls they tend to flex and move with the foot instead of protecting the foot. 

Again a note: when it comes to gender in this case though ballet dancers will spend more time on their toes it is the overall action and vigorous nature of the activity on the foot that I claim soccer players to have greater overall stress on their feet. 

The most common areas of the lower foot which I will treat when it comes to athletes will be the plantar muscles. These particular muscles act like a springboard to help the foot stay in its proper shape to allow the bones of the lower floor to stay in alignment and to provide more ergonomic walk. Especially as an athlete your foot will constantly be changing shape due to the type of physical activity that you're doing your bodyweight and the type of footwear you choose to use. Most often what I see is a therapist is a need to separate the tendons and other vital structures from each other as a result of scar tissue damage or tightening of ligaments as the foot has changed shape so often. 

Another important note; it is vital as an athlete understand that footwear manufacturers are not always taking your foot care too hard when designing shoes for particular applications. As long as the shoe is relatively comfortable and relatively ergonomic so that people do not complain about pain most manufacturers are allowed to make whatever design should they wish. This does not mean is the healthiest thing for your foot overall. A fantastic little tidbit that I picked up recently while doing research for the squawk post was that terms of our human history we can actually do fine when shoes were invented and more widely worn. The reason that they believe they can pinpoint this to such an accurate time frame is because her feet actually changed shape and phone density as a result of putting on flatware. The density of human foot actually decreased by a remarkable percentage within a few generations of having footwear this is because they believe that they foot did not have to change shape with the environment as much but because most indigenous people live on hard surfaces your phone density did not have to be is great to cushion their body the more salad terrain such as rocks gravel areas and other hard surfaces but were equally as flexible walking in soft sand or in vegetative areas.

When I work with soccer players overall I pay very close attention to their body stance and do a visual assessment of all the major joint areas in their body in order to look at how squarely their body stands. As I continue assessing each person I will oftentimes need to go to their hips first down to their knees and then again into their feet for more extensive review of their tissues. If you were seen your body stiffened up its range of motion such as bringing the heel into the center of the body are trying to push the outside of the foot outboard away from you this could be a sign of scar tissue and foot as well as your bill you point your toes down I'll point them up towards the ceiling pivoting at the ankle.

Most often in terms of correcting any major foot issues this is something that depends on your activity level and any other aggravating factors within your health history that could affect the healing process. In general most active athlete with no significant bone injuries can be treated and get back most of the range of motion if not all of it within a series of several appointments mixed in with other treatment goals. As part of my trip and philosophy I very rarely will spend an entire session or series of sessions on the foot and less I know that their activity level is relatively reduced and that any changes made in the body will be well compensated for and not counteracted with high amounts of physical activity.

If you have any questions regarding this topic for your particular needs you were always welcome to contact me. I would also suggest making an appointment with a diet tryst to ensure you were receiving consistent information from a different set of eyes and specialties in order to verify all of the information you were getting is correct and consistent. Consultations I'm putting issues are usually done within the office and are usually done at no charge to you when you see me as your massage therapist.

Scare Tissue in the Ankles

Subdermal scar tissue is one of the most common conditions I treat during my time with clients. Subdermal scar tissue is internal scarring that has occurred as a result of injury to the muscle, bones, organs, from external or internal sources. A common external source of internal scar tissue is that caused by cuts scrapes or muscle injury. Common internal sources of internal scar tissue would include severe organ dysfunction such as a heart attack or compensation after a severe injury around a bony structure like vehicles or elbow.

For purposes of this discussion today we're going to narrowly focus on the ankles for several reasons: one, the ankles are a common area of high mobility for those who enjoy extreme physical activities or for those that have had other problems in the past in the lower extremities such as the hips or knees. Two, the ankles because of their internal structure our extremely complex and have areas a very high mobility and areas a very low mobility this contrast protects us in many ways but modern activities will often test these extremes on a regular basis far more than the human being was designed to withstand an entire lifetime. Scare tissue in the ankles also has an extremely visible affect not only on performance but in the way that they look and other conditions can aggravate the angles to an extreme such as scout or four lymphatic drainage to do a merited of medical conditions. 

Let's talk for a moment about what internal scar tissue is meant to do in the body and white is created. Internal scarring as a result of the inflammation response very typical to what we see on our skin and that is when the body is injured body automatically respond to the demand of the injury. This includes things like clotting of blood and scabbing to allow the external skin layers to heal. On the inside of the body many of the same things occur however these things occur in a different rate of speed typically and is well they preserve function rather than aesthetics. Scar tissue feels under the fingers like a crystal material almost as if it was small grains of connected sand pliable yet hard to move and this is in sharp contrast to the texture of bone and connective tissue and and even fluid buildup. I've been asked many times how I can tell the difference so well and the first most basic rule of diagnostic palpation is that if it feels like it's not supposed to be there it's probably not supposed to be there. 

There are several different methods to alleviate scared tissue some of which include massage which in this particular area can be highly effective with other therapies. Most often I'll see people come in with lack of mobility within the ankle some cells and after a thorough examination using diagnostic palpation I will oftentimes find large amounts of scar tissue in and around major joints that make up the upper ankle all the way down into the toes which can all have an impact on mobility.

One of my proudest moments as a young massage therapist I worked with a man who was now in his mid 60’s but who for his age at the time was very tall and had spoken to me many times while playing basketball in high school. During his youth playing basketball he got many injuries as young people do a number of them or ankle sprains and brakes which were treated with the technology of the time. However like many young man he also thought he was indestructible which meant that returning to play ahead of schedule was commonplace. After many years of adulthood he started to feel the severe side effects of those decisions made many years before and had requested during the therapy session if I wouldn't mind taking a look at both of his feet. Immediately I did notice a difference between his right and left ankle one being far stiffer and much cooler to the touch than the other. It was pretty clear that his left ankle had sustained a great deal of damage as a youth and that there was a large amount of scar tissue around the many major joints of the foot that were causing him mobility problems in the present.

After explaining my basic findings he chose to proceed with a particular course of treatment which consisted of two 30 minute sessions of strictly scare remediation on the right foot this would allow me to gauge progress as well as to decide based on the release of the right foot how to deal with the compensation and tight muscles on the left foot. In other words the injury suffered as a teenager cause the area around the damaged tissue surrounding the angle to become harder and less flexible to prevent the bones from moving out of alignment. This in turn causes the opposing for it to become more ridged to act more like a walking cane rather than a flexible athletic component.

After the success of the first two treatments I turn my focus towards correcting the tight muscles in the opposing foot in order to better match each foot to each other to make walking and other activities more “normal”. Sadly the client came to me before we could start that portion of the treatment plan and said that he would no longer be able to come to see me as a loved one had felt terribly ill and will be needing his assistance constantly for the foreseeable future. But you might ask why would I find the situation so gratifying? The gratification came much later approximately a year later when the same person found me on the street and had mentioned how good they felt however had indicated that they were mad that they could not complete the treatment plan with me. And not only approved my diagnostic skills as a young therapist to a degree which I had not been accustomed to at that time but also proved that if you can help someone they will remember you. I have carried those moments of confidence with me for some time but I also try to remind myself that for every victory there must be some failures and therefore I cannot choose to let anyone think that I know everything about what I am doing. The human body is an amazing machine with wonderful abilities to heal itself under the right conditions I am only a very small part of a very big puzzle and among many medical professionals I play but a very small part.