As you know, last month I broke my ankle in two places and had to have surgery to put my ankle back together again. I’m still not able to put weight on my foot and last week I started to do some flex/extend exercises to move my ankle joint. I felt the exact same pain as a member of my forum described in a message today. When I try to curl my toes there is a pain in the back of my ankle, underneath my Achilles tendon. If this pain hadn’t happened to me I don’t know if I could have been as confident about telling you, and my forum member, which muscles to treat because it is such a stretch to understand the reason why these muscles are involved.
Deep in your calf is a muscle called flexor hallicus longus (inserts into the bottom of your big toe) and another muscle called flexor digitorum longus (to your four toes). I have found that when I press very deeply into the center of my calf to reach these muscles that it releases the pain I’m feeling in my Achilles tendon (AT). My take on it is that since these muscles are underneath the major muscles of your calf, your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, and therefore the AT, that when they are tight from repetitive strain they are pushing up on the AT and causing the pain! I wouldn’t have thought about this fact.
I’ve found that I keep pressing into my lower leg and look for points of pain. Then I just keep the pressure on for a minute or so. If you have chronic pain, you’ll get a lot of relief just by releasing the spasms that are tying your muscles in knots.
One other thing I’ve found it important is to press your fingers into the underside of your tibia (shin bone) on the inside of your lower leg, and on the underside of your fibula (outer bone) that you can do by crossing your leg and then putting your fingers around the front of your leg and press up underneath the bone.
If you have pain &/or stiffness in your ankle (or any joint) I suggest you get my book, “Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living” and don’t just do the calf treatments but instead do the entire Julstro Protocol since there are so many muscles that can impact your calf. If you go to you can read about all of the muscles that, as an athlete, you have been repetitively straining for years. You need to do the full protocol at least 2-3 times, and at the end of it spend a good amount of time not only doing your gastrocnemius and soleus, but all of the muscles of your lower leg.
It amazed me how much better I felt after I started to self-treat all my lower leg muscles, and even more, how much more I could flex my ankle without pain. I’m working toward getting my ankle back 100%, I know that releasing the tight muscles is key to that goal.
Wishing you well,