Muscle News Vol I.37:  Peroneus Group
Fixing the "Weak Ankle Muscle" - Save Yourself a Trip, Slip or Sprain!
If there is one injury that is famous for being repetitive, it's the sprained ankle!  

Especially with it being icy in many parts of the country right now, people are slipping and twisting their ankles left and right (or just one side at a time) ... hence, the subject of this month's issue of Muscle News...  Fixing the Weak Ankle Muscle!

Apart from icy sidewalks, weather is not the primary problem for repetitive ankle sprain sufferers ... It's weak ankles!  

Weak ankles not only cause twists and sprains, but also dangerous slips, falls and serious injuries.  So, let's not leave it to chance - Let's fix any weakness in your ankles right away with the simple instructions in this newsletter!

In most cases, the Weak Ankle Syndrome is not due to ankle muscles that aren't strong enough - it is due to ankle muscles that aren't able to use their strength properly due to myofascial dysfunction and trigger points.

Trigger points cause muscles to be shortened and contracted, created a pseudo-weakness that makes the muscle and joint seem much less strong and stable.

One muscle in particular becomes riddled with trigger points and causes your ankles to be weak and twist and sprain over and over, earning it the nickname the "Weak Ankle Muscle."

This muscle runs the entire outer side of your calf down to your ankle and is called the Peroneus Group, which has three divisions, the Brevis, Longus and Tertius.  To the left is a diagram of the muscle and its referred pain pattern from Dr. Janet Travell's famous trigger point therapy book: Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction:  The Trigger Point Manual

As usual, it is extremely easy to eliminate these trigger points, restore proper function to your Peroneus Group, and prevent you from injuring your precious ankles again.

Below you will find instructions for testing your Peroneus Muscles, treating them with heat, compression and stretching, as well as the removing the SECRET REASON these trigger points develop so frequently!

Enjoy and pass this information along to anyone you know who suffers from weak ankles!
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.
(2) Quick Self-Tests to Tell if You have Trigger Points in Your Peroneus Group:

 Follow the instructions below to get a good idea of whether myofascial trigger points might be causing weakness in your ankles and risk of trips, slips and sprain.

TEST 1:  Ankle Inversion Test

           PASS                            NOT PASSING

Sit with your legs out in front of you with knees bent.  Turn your ankles in (inversion) so that the bottoms of your feet are facing each other and touching.   A Passing result is when the bottoms of the feet can face and touch each other (toes and heel) without bending the knees.  A Not Passing result occurs when there is difficulty or pain trying to get the bottoms of the feet to face each other and touch.

TEST 2:  Peroneus Palpation

As always, palpation (the medical term for pressing, feeling and squeezing to evaluate body tissue) is often the most effective test to identify myofascial trigger points in your Peroneus Group muscles.   

There are 3 divisions of the Peroneus Group muscles:  Longus, Brevis, and Tertius.  However, they all line up along the outside of the calf.  Press your finger tips into the muscle tissue along the entire outside of the calf, feeling for tender spots and taut bands of muscle tissue.

Also, take note of any Referred Pain.  A Passing result is when no pain or taut bands are detected or felt.


3-Step Simple Self-Care Remedies

Many many cases of weak ankles have been corrected by individuals performing simple self-care exercises.  There is no reason to suffer repeated ankle sprains or risk falling and injuring oneself, when the solution might cost merely a few minutes per day.  So, here's the solution:

Step 1:  Warming Up with Moist Heat

The Peroneus trigger points can be very tender and taut.  Moist heat is often very helpful to loosen them up and reduce the tenderness for compression in step 2.  A warm bath works, or placing a Fomentek bag over the outside of the calf for 10-15 minutes is great. 

Step 2:  Compression

The best tool for treating the Peroneus Group is one with knobs for concentrated compression.  

Use your self-care tool to compress the tender spots and taut bands you palpated.  Press into the muscle to pain tolerance ("good pain" - not pain that is sharp or makes you want to withdraw).  Hold for 10 seconds while completing at least two full breaths in and out.  Then continue searching for more tender spots until the entire muscle is covered.  

You can also roll out the trigger points with a self-care rolling tool.  Both tools work well in conjunction with each other.

Step 3:  Inversion / Eversion Ankle Exercise

Below is an excellent stretching and range of motion exercise for weak ankles.  

With the foot elevated off the floor, pull the heel inward (inversion) and then outward (eversion).  Repeat 20 reps for each foot, 2-3 times per day until your ankle is strong and you can pass your inversion test.  

Step 4:  Eliminate the Secret Cause / Perpetuating Factor - Morton's Foot!

One of the biggest causes of trigger points and myofascial dysfunction in the Peroneus Group is a very common congenital malformation of the big toe, wherein it does not develop as long as the second toe.  This condition is called Morton's Foot, and it is extremely important and easy to correct.

Here is a link to a previous newsletter we have written about this topic:  Correcting Morton's Foot.

With Morton's Foot corrected, you should immediately feel an improvement in your body's bio-mechanics.  There will be much less strain on your Peroneus Group and therefore less likelihood of developing trigger points and weak ankles!

Please pass this information on to those you care about!  Use the Facebook like buttons to make it easy to share.  

Take care!
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Find a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist near you. Click on the link below to learn more about these highly trained manual therapists:

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