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  • Ankle and foot pain after dorsiflexion mobilization?

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    Old 11-22-2017, 01:05 AM   #1
    Lordel's Avatar
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    Ankle and foot pain after dorsiflexion mobilization?

    Could anyone here have some opinion on dorsiflexion mobilizationīs safety aspects. I was as a "practise customer" for a physiotherapist trainee in a podiatric clinic. Trainee was supposed to be doing her handlings based on podiatristīs teachings and estimation.
    In my last visit there, trainee did to my both feet what I figure out being "dorsiflexion ankle mobilization". She held my heel and pulled to herself, about three times, and quite vigorously and as tugs, not as smooth and firm longer pulls. Didnīt feel pain when she did this, but didnīt feel good either.

    After that, the same day, my other ankle started to hurt somewhat when I was walking, in front of my outer malleolus. And then my lateral instep started to also hurt somewhat and feel sore and deconstructing when walking and when put weight on it. Prickling in both places. Sore aching sensation in my ankle also at rest.
    Got to see the podiatrist in charge in two weeks, I was quite tense so I wasnīt in my best cleverness to ask him firmer questions. But he did ask me did the trainee pull my heel as those vigorous tugs or as a longer pull. So I assume now that tugs were a technical fault? He detected my foot manually and said my ankle joint capsule was irritated, and put kinesio tape around my ankle. He also said that prickling sensation would indicate tissue irritation. But he didnīt really say did something go wrong and what sort of mechanism could have caused these sensations.

    Now itīs been weeks after the mobilization, and my foot still doesnīt feel the same it was before. Still got soreness and prickling in front of my lateral malleolus and in my lateral instep. And sort of numb feeling in the round-shaped instep, like some band would tighten around it, especially after walking with shoes (got orthotics) and returning to walking without shoes indoors.

    Does it seem that the traineeīs mobilization technique went clearly wrong? And what mechanism could have triggered my symptoms, could there have been some structural damage? Does this sound nerve damage? I used to have symptoms somewhat like these (but weaker) months ago with my foot and ankle when I originally went to podiatrist. But my foot had already been much better and almost totally symptom-free before this happened.

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    Old 11-22-2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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    Re: Ankle and foot pain after dorsiflexion mobilization?

    Dear Lordel,

    It interested me to read your experience since just this week my physical therapist taped my weak left knee that had been bothering me. He explained that one joint out of place will throw all other joints off. Wow, the knee relief was instantaneous, and I could walk with it confidently. Then a couple of days later it seemed like every joint in my body was inflamed, esp on the right side. Out of curiosity I decided to remove the tape since the left knee pain was not as bad as the whole body pain.

    That was done last night, and amazingly the right side joints all quit rebelling. So from this experience I have to say yes, I think the therapy is safe, just that different practitioners do things in different ways and get different results. My old bones and ligaments with the years old injuries cannot handle what more youthful bones and ligaments may easily endure. So I'm thinking maybe the one therapist wanted to give you as much relief as possible in a short time, while a more seasoned therapist may believe that a little gain may be more gentle on older joints.

    Sometimes it is probably in our best interest to get treatment by more seasoned practitioners. Nowadays I seek the more experienced personnel. However, I also have found that at my age 68, most of those experienced doctors have closed their practices to new patients and are on their way to retirement. So what can we do? we cannot change that ordinary dynamic of life.

    However, take it into consideration that you are going through new experiences that require less than comfortable changes. Just getting into a shoe is a huge adjustment. It is normal to feel a variety of soreness and prickling all during the recovery process, esp. on a weight bearing body part. It's easier to rest a pinky finger than a foot or leg. The more time that goes by in your recovery, the more sensations you will feel as the nerves heal. In my vast leg, foot joint recovery experience (50 years of dealing with various crushed, broken and/or revised bones, most in my legs plus one wrist) has given me a lot of experience, your experience seems to be the normal healing process. Maybe the one trainee could have been a bit more gentle, but also, maybe it would not have given enough movement.

    Joint recovery is just painful, esp when it is the weight bearing bones. If you can soak in very warm water with a couple of cups of epsom salt dissolved in it, that really soothes the nerves. I find that taking Magnesium citrate daily helps, and I also take Tylenol at night to relieve pain a little so I can rest.

    Keep it in mind that you need to gently be working on flexing your joints yourself. Pampering is good while the tissue gets healed, but we don't want the healing to cause the joint to get locked up, either. My suggestion is expect pain, but take very sharp pain as a sign to back off just a little.

    ~ YaYa ~

    Last edited by yayagirl; 11-22-2017 at 09:02 AM.

    Old 11-22-2017, 09:06 AM   #3
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    Re: Ankle and foot pain after dorsiflexion mobilization?

    it does sound as if the person may have pulled too hard. If you want to improve your dorsiflexion, a good way to start is to sit in a chair with one leg crossed over the other knee and gently turn the ankle of the crossed leg. You can also step on a tennis ball, which will loosen the ligaments in your feet and that will loosen up your ankle. Orthotics make your feet weaker, although people will disagree with me. I wore them for years, so speak from experience. When a personal trainer told me to get rid of them, I was VERY reluctant, but did as he said and my feet tendons got stronger. I was as flat footed as a duck, but due to strengthening exercises and working with him, I now have a beautiful arch and nice straight toes. Before doing any exercises, I would give my feet a good rest and, above all, I would not let him cut into me!! the only reason people have bunions is because things are out of line due to weakness. Had I known years ago, what I have learned, I NEVER would have let someone remove my bunions. The orthopedic surgeon said I had the worst feet he had ever seen. Orthotics and realigning of feet are nothing but money makers for the podiatrists! Good luck, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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    yayagirl (11-28-2017)
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    ankle pain, dorsiflexion, foot and ankle, nerve damage

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