Shin, Calf, Ankle & Foot Pain

The most common pain in the ankle is due to acute sprain, from a jump, fall, or sudden loss of balance.

The commonly seen foot pain is usually of less traumatic origins, such as plantar fasciitis, pain in the arch, bunions, pain or pinched nerve at the toes, etc.

As for the shin and calf, the most commonly seen injuries are shin splints, calf strain, Achilles tendonitis, and pain in the fibular head.

Most ankle sprains heal slowly, but unfortunately the same injury tends to recur repetitively, and each new sprain tends to take a little longer to heal due to gradual build-up of scar tissue. These repetitions eventually lead to either significantly weakened ligaments as well as instability of the ankle, or arthritis that restricts the ankle range of motion in the long run.

As we all know, it takes coordination of the entire lower limbs and pelvis to start locomotion – walk, run, jump, leap, etc.. Our entire body forms a kinematic chain which allows any movement to be possible within human ranges. From the pelvis down is the most important part of this chain that initiates and sustains locomotion, which calls for coordinated movements of all body parts to allow activities as simple as walking to happen.

As you see, the ankle is an important part of the kinematic chain, as it transfers gravity and its counter-force: ground force, between the foot and the rest of the body. But it takes coordinated movement of not only ankles, but also hips and knees, to initiate walking. Once the movement starts, it takes good coordination of the pelvis and low back to make sure the trunk moves in synchronization.

Therefore ankle problems, including repetitive strain and sprain, rarely have much to do with the injured ankle itself. Very frequently the problem comes from the knees, hips, the feet, and pelvis and low back. There has been a lot of emphasis on ankle stability in therapies and rehabilitations, yet isolated ankle stability and strength itself rarely affords the need for healthy and pain-free ankles.

In Action Chiropractic & Wellness Center, we use specific Bio-mechanical diagnosis to detect precisely where the key or root problem is for the ankle sprain. We then correct the problem with the patented technique – Active Release Technique, which is the most effective soft tissue treatment for ankle sprain. We then teach you how to use appropriate exercises to maintain the effect and to prevent future occurrence.

In contrast to the usually acute nature of ankle problems, foot problems are usually a result of long term poor bio-mechanics of walking, running and other activities involving the lower limbs. The most commonly seen problems are dropped arches (pes planus), which frequently go hand in hand with problems or pain in the knees, hips, ankles, pain in toes, as well as low back.

The cause of the dropped arches can also be either coming from the above sources, or due to lack of appropriate stimulation of the intrinsic foot muscles that form the arch. It is important to understand that the arch of foot is not a rigid structure – it is in shape largely due to support of soft tissues. An arch is held together by ligament and fascia, but powered by muscle contractions.

Prescribed orthotics or shoe inserts are frequent answers to the call, but without addressing the problem at its root (any of the above mentioned) through appropriate soft tissue release, stimulation and training, the orthotics or inserts become permanent crutches. Furthermore, if the problem that caused the arch to drop is still present, it will look for additional outlets such as pain or injury at knees, hips or low back.

There are other problems of the feet including plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, pinched nerve at toes, bunions, etc. But believe it or not, almost all problems in the feet have to do with the central structure – the arch. By addressing the key, most of the other problems can be resolved.

At Action Chiropractic & Wellness Center, we diagnose the root cause for your foot pain with Bio-mechanical expertise, which allow us to locate precisely where the problem comes from (anywhere of the whole body). We then treat the root problem with Active Release Technique, a highly specialized soft tissue technique that usually results in rapid recovery. Finally we use exercises that target the root problems to allow you self-maintain and be free of pain or suffering.

The most commonly seen pain in the leg includes shin splint, calf strain and Achilles tendonitis. These injuries are commonly associated with walking, running, jumping and other heavy activities with the legs and feet.

There are two types of shin splints, anterior or medial, which occur on the outer or inner side of the front surface of the leg. Calf strain often occurs on the higher half of the calf, while Achilles tendonitis often involves lower calf along with the tendons.

Any of the activities listed above require proper coordination of the entire lower limb as well as the trunk of the body. The feet, ankles and knees initiate the movement with the help of gravity, and the movement is then transitioned through the hips and pelvis, to the trunk of the body, and then to the shoulders and arms to allow the whole body to participate.

However, there can be many disruptions of the movement pattern described above, including knees, hips, pelvis, abdominals, and back. When the disruption happens, the whole body no longer moves in unison in the most efficient way, and therefore the legs, feet and ankles have to take a much higher load than they have to with walking, running or jumping. The consequence is shin splints, calf strain and Achilles tendonitis and other problems.

It is very helpful and effective to directly relieve the symptoms of shin splints, calf strain or Achilles tendonitis, which can be achieved very well with Active Release Technique. However, what is more important and fundamental is to find out where the disruption to the whole body movement is, and correct that pattern, so as to remove the problems from their roots.

This is exactly how we do it at Action Chiropractic & Wellness Center. Come and experience it for yourself how quickly you can be out of pain and on your way back to your favorite activities.

See: How to Run and Walk Pain Free with ART and refined Biomechanics >>

Contact us today for ankle, foot and leg pain treatment.
(858) 481-1438



Dr. Dawn Liu, Ph.D., D.C., L.Ac
Dr. Anna Phillips, D.C., M.S.
David Snyder, L.Ac., C.Ht
Action Chiropractic & Wellness
312 S. Cedros Ave, Ste 326
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Call: (858) 481-1438