• Everything You Need To Know About Plantar Flexion

    Plantar Flexion is a movement we all use daily. It’s used when you walk, run, swim, drive a car and so much more. In this post, you’re going to find out all about what it is, what it does, injuries that come with it and ways to recover when you are injured. Plus we’ll add in some great products you can use to help aid recovery.

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    Plantar Flexion

    Think about how much you run, walk, swim, drive and more. All of these simple movements require a group of muscles to work together in order to complete the movement of Plantar Flexion.

    There are eight muscles in this group that work together to help complete these simple movements, they’re known as the Plantar Flexors, these are:

    • Gastrocnemius – This muscle is half of what’s known as the ‘calf muscle’, starting at the back of the knee and attaching to the Achilles Tendon.
    • Flexor Hallucis Longus – There are three deep muscles in the leg, and this is one of them. It starts at the back of the Fibula and goes through the ankle joint, attaching to the big toe.
    • Flexor Digitorum Longus – This is another of the three deep muscles in the leg. This starts at the back of the Tibia, running along the bottom of the foot.
    • Soleus Muscle – This is a strong muscle that starts behind the knee, merging into the Gastrocnemius to help create the Achilles Tendon.
    • Plantaris – Starting behind the knee, this tendon runs below the Soleus and Gastrocnemius muscle, connecting directly to the heel bone.
    • Tibialis Posterior – This is the third of the deep muscles in the leg, it’s the most central and is vital when it comes to keeping your lower leg stable.
    • Peroneus Longus – This muscle starts at the upper section of the Fibula, running down the Fibula bone and attaching to the Medial Cuneiform and the First Metatarsal, the bones below the knuckle of the big toe.
    • Peroneus Brevis – This muscle lies just beneath the Peroneus Longus, this muscle helps to keep the foot stable.

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    If you injure one or more of the muscles in the leg or foot, this will limit your ability to complete a full range of motion. Common injuries include damage to the ankle joint, such as a sprain from a fall.

    When your ankle is injured, your ankle joint will inflame, helping to protect the muscles and joints from any further damage. This inflammation will massively reduce Plantar Flexion, sometimes completely stopping you from moving your foot.

    Your treatment and recovery process will be determined by the injury you have. A break to your bone will require further limitation of movement for a short period of time to help ensure you don’t develop muscle weakness.

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    How To Aid Recovery

    There is one proven method when it comes to recovery from ankle and foot injuries, limiting your Plantar Flexion. This method is known as ‘RICE’.

    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Compression
    • Elevation

    Make sure you’re resting your foot, elevating it above your heart to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Use an ice compression pack to help reduce swelling, this can all be done at the same time.

    If you have a fracture and your ankle is no longer stable, surgery may be required to help aid recovery and fix any broken tendons and muscles. A fracture will normally take around 6 weeks on average to heal.

    Any form of injury to your ankle, foot or leg that require Plantar Flexion will require you to see a Physical Therapist who can help aid recovery.

    Whilst recovering, keep your foot in a neutral position, and try to avoid uneven surfaces as well as any physical activity.

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    What To Avoid

    It goes without saying that if you have damage to your ankle, foot or leg, it’s important you avoid any strenuous movement, even if it’s your normal daily activity. This includes lifting heavy objects, sports and in some cases, even driving.

    Unless advised otherwise by a medical professional, avoid using braces, splints or walking boots. If you have an injury such as a sprain, a brace will only further damage your foot. If you have a break, you’ll likely need to wear a walking boot for a set period of time to aid recovery before starting physiotherapy.

    Now you know all there is to know about Planter Flexion, hopefully, you’ll be better prepared in case you ever damage your ankle. Plus, you’ll have some great ways to avoid further damage whilst you rest.


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