Massage & Bodywork

March/April 2010

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VISIT The DIgITaL eDITIOn aT MaSSageanDbODywOrK.cOM TO VIew a VIDeO cLIP DeMOnSTraTIng ThIS TechnIque. Posterior tibialis is most active during weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, and jumping. It holds up the medial arch of the foot as weight is shifted from the heel to the ball of the foot. Maintaining proper strength and endurance in this and the other arch-supporting muscles such as anterior tibialis, flexor digitorum longus, and flexor hallucis longus prevents overuse injuries such as tendonitis, periostitis, and plantar fasciitis. Such injuries are common, particularly in individuals with pes planus or an overpronated foot, which puts excessive strain on these muscles. PALPATING TIBIALIS POSTERIOR Positioning: client prone with flexed knee 1. Stand next to the client's lower leg and locate the medial edge of the tibia with your fingertips. 2. Slide your fingers posteriorly and hook around the edge of the tibia onto the fibers of posterior tibialis. 3. Continue to palpate the feathered fibers of posterior tibialis deep in the posterior leg between the tibia and fibula. 4. Client resists plantar flexion and inversion to assure proper location. massage therapist, certified athletic trainer, and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Kinesiology and Palpation for Manual Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Contact her at Christy Cael is a nationally certified Client Homework— Foot Shortening 1. Distribute your weight evenly between your right and left foot. 2. Shift your weight to the outsides of your feet, making your arch as high as you can without picking up the ball of the foot or toes from the floor. This is foot shortening. 3. Keep the weight on the outsides of your feet, maintaining a short foot as you rock back and forth between the heels and the balls of your feet. 4. Practice the foot shortening exercises, balancing on one foot once you are comfortable on two. 5. Practice maintaining a short foot and raised arch as you rise up on your tiptoes or while walking. Editor's Note: The Client Homework element in Functional Anatomy is intended as a take-home resource for clients experiencing issues with the profiled muscle. The stretches identified in Functional Anatomy should not be performed within massage sessions or progressed by massage therapists, in order to comply with state laws and maintain scope of practice. 86 massage & bodywork march/april 2010

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