When we walk and run, it is vital that the arches of our feet retain their shape. It is very easy and common to ‘flatten’ the arches, especially when running. Over a prolonged time this can affect our posture and weight distribution up our legs and into our hips, leading to pain and discomfort. The lower leg pain is often described as ‘shin splints’.
Some of our lower leg muscles extend down under the arch of our foot and up the other side, creating a ‘sling’ effect. It is important to have these muscles in balance with each other to ensure the arch is kept at its correct shape. If one side of the sling is tighter than the other, or one side weaker than the other, this leads to the arch being pulled flat or pulled overly high, causing pain. Often if people feel they have ‘weak’ ankles, often falling over one side of the ankle, this can be due to an imbalance in the muscles.
A deep tissue massage can address this problem, together with any needed orthotic supports in shoes, and strengthening exercises for the appropriate muscles, which over time can right a problem.