The talus is a wedge shaped bone that sits under the tibia and makes up the majority of the ankle joint.
If there insufficient movement of the talus during the walking cycle this will result in compensation above the ankle in the knees and lower back or below in the forefoot. Talar motion is an accessory motion (ie: it cannot be performed actively) necessary for the optimum functioning of the foot and ankle complex. You may notice your knees may hyperextend (bend back past vertical), an increase in your lumbar lordosis (hollow in the lower back) or the forefoot will tend to pronate (roll in – arch collapses) or even bunions developing if the talus is restricted. This compensation is necessary to help you balance and move your centre of gravity forward as you walk. In children you may notice a bouncing gait, toe walking or more subtle symptoms of achilles pain, anterior knee pain and or shin splints.
Restriction in talar motion may be caused from previous trauma, ankle sprains, calf strain or slamming your foot on the brake as in a car accident.
Do you have a problem? Perform this quick test to check your talar motion.
Place a mark 10cm form the wall, line your toes up with this mark, feet hip width apart and bend your knees towards the wall, keeping your feet flat, if you are unable to touch the wall with your knees and they are more than 5cm away from the wall you are likely to have restriction of the talus and tight calves.
How can we treat this?
At Synergy Manual Therapy we assess the alignment of your feet, knees, pelvis and spine and carry out specific screening tests.
Counterstrain is the perfect gentle fascial treatment to address this restriction and is suitable for children, teenagers, adults and the elderly.
This technique restores normal motion to the talus and foot and ankle complex, improving your walking pattern reducing the pressure on your knees, back and forefoot.
Stretches are also vital to help improve any residual myofascial/muscular tightness. We can show you a range of stretches that will be beneficial. We ensure you are getting the most out of your stretch with checking your alignment while you are stretching.
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