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F r e e S O A P n o t e s w i t h M a s s a g e B o o k f o r A B M P m e m b e r s : a b m p . u s / M a s s a g e b o o k 101 must forcefully contract during this maneuver, which, in time, creates reciprocal weakness in the peroneals and tibialis anterior muscles. Many of my competitive RW clients schedule bimonthly preventive maintenance appointments to help retain lower leg muscle balance. In Image 4, I demonstrate an effective technique for stretching tight posterior calves and restoring ankle mobility, and in Image 5, a spindle-stim muscle activating technique helps turn on weak anterior compartment muscles, such as the tibialis and peroneus. Additionally, a variety of balancing, band-work, single-leg squat, and mobility exercises are offered as homework to help maintain length-strength balance and ward off shin splints, compartment syndromes, stress fractures, and other common walking and running injuries. Note: when palpating the tibia, if tapping on one small spot triggers exquisitely sharp pain, or if the athlete is experiencing overall numbness or unusual nerve sensations, a medical referral may be necessary to rule out stress fractures or compartment syndromes. Notes 1. I. Kummant, "Racewalking Gains New Popularity," The Physician and Sportsmedicine 9, no. 1: 19–20; A. H. Payne, "A Comparison of the Ground Reaction Forces in Race Walking with Those in Normal Walking and Running," in Biomechanics VI-A, eds. E. Asmussen and K. Jorgensen (1978). 2. R. Palamarchuk, "Racewalking: A Not So Injury Free Sport," Sports Medicine (1980). 3. International Association of Athletics Federations, Competition Rules 2012–13, Volume 230.1 (Monte Carlo: IAAF, 2011). Erik Dalton is the executive director of the Freedom from Pain Institute. Educated in massage, osteopathy, and Rolfing, Dalton has maintained a practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for more than three decades. For more information, visit a problem for well-conditioned professionals, but amateur athletes are another story. In some, the jarring heel strike is followed by an uncoordinated and energy-wasting slap down of the foot, which must be resisted by eccentric contractions of the dorsiflexor shin muscles. Cumulative repetitive dorsiflexor stress and length-strength musculofascial compartment imbalances are likely the two primary causes of shin splints. Although the tibialis posterior muscle is thought to be the most commonly injured, in many cases the medial portion of the soleus is also involved. Both muscles arise from the tibia and fibula, but because of their different attachment sites, sports therapists tend to blame the soleus if the pain and tenderness manifests on the lower one-third of the tibia (Image 2). An injury to either muscle can be difficult to manage due to their anatomical locations. Over time, repeated concentric and eccentric loading during heel strike and toe-off strains the attachment sites, creating periosteal micro-tearing (periostitis). In an attempt to resist painful pulling at the injury site, the body reinforces with adhesive scar tissue. Greater muscle tightness develops as the athlete tries to train through the injury, resulting in a vicious cycle of pain and tightness that continues until the area is properly treated and retrained. In Image 3, I demonstrate one of my favorite techniques for shin splints, breaking loose stiff cross-linked scar tissue adhesions along the medial tibial border. LOSS OF CONTACT RULE Another IA AF regulation requires competitive race walkers to keep the toe of the back foot on the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched. This rule also sets the stage for shin splint injuries as the athlete strains to keep the back foot in the push-off position until heel strike. The gastroc, soleus, and tibialis posterior muscles 3 4 5 Fingers of the therapist's left hand contact shin split adhesions and hold while the right hand dorsiflexes the client's ankle. The therapist dorsiflexes the client's foot to stretch the posterior compartment and uses a "figure 8" maneuver to mobilize the ankle. The therapist's right hand grasps the client's forefoot and quickly slings the heel away while resisting with fingers of the left hand to activate anterior compartment arch elevator muscles.

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