Massage Tutorial Video: Ankle Pain

New massage tutorial video! This one’s on ankle pain, but it’s also about communication and massage strategy. I included my client interview process, and I discuss how I go about working with clients who have severe pain (I don’t just dive in!). There are also plenty of techniques in there.

As you work with painful ankles, consider all of the tendons that criss-cross the joint. Tibialis anterior and posterior pass onto the medial aspect, while the fibularis/peroneus ligaments cross the lateral aspect. Think of the huge amounts of pressure that they exert with each step, and how they might not always be happy with our choice of activity and footwear. While we can get some good work done by targeting the tendons directly, they’re really the innocent bystanders in this case. By working with the hypertonic muscles that yank on those tendons, and by helping our clients find new activities and stretches that can keep those muscles happy between sessions, we can do a lot more than if we were to just focus on the joint itself.

Once upon a time, I would have treated Rachael’s ankle pain much more aggressively, having her breathe through the discomfort. I would have sought out trigger points, taken her through active and passive range of motion while trying to break up adhesions, etc. Now I just want her nervous system to chill out. I’m definitely not ruling out more assertive work in the future, but only once her sensitivity has decreased. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this approach, and if you have any techniques that you think would be well-suited to this case.

2 thoughts on “Massage Tutorial Video: Ankle Pain

  1. Holy moly I love this one! How did it never occur to me to engage reciprocal inhibition *while* performing myofascial strokes (versus before or after)? Thanks so much, Ian. Your videos are always well thought out and practical.

Comments? Stories? Tell me stuff.