In today’s muscle of the day we have one of the deep calf structures that is very important in the motion that we call dorsiflexion.
That muscle is the Flexor Digitorum Longus. If you have ever had shin splints this muscle is more than likely the culprit.
The job of this muscle is to flex and move all the small toes, except for the big toe.
This muscle usually gets pretty beat up and overused in people that spend a lot of time on their feet, run a lot or do a ton of jumping/ squatting.
When this happens you end up developing adhesion in the muscle.
This adhesion leads to pain, weakness and decreased flexibility
When you have decreased force production in this muscle it can lead to altered biomechanics, more specifically the motion of dorsiflexion.
Dorsiflexion is a really important motion and function, without it you can have issues with running, jumping, walking and squatting.
Needless to say its pretty darn important for anyone who is trying to move their body through space.
Treatment of this muscle is usually done pretty lousy by the majority of practitioners out there.
This muscle sits right on the surface and isn't actually too deep, but too many people try to get to deep on it during treatment, leading to an excruciating type of feel with the treatment.
Successful treatment of this muscle should be described as a “hurts, but good” feeling and proper treatment and removal of adhesion should give an instant improvement in range of motion of the foot and ankle.