Take A Look At Your Ankles

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CHARLOTTE – Last week we talked about your ankles and talked about what joints make up the ankles. This week let’s focus on massage and your ankle range of motion.

Mobility is a word that you’ll hear endlessly from healthcare professionals. It’s important for your well-being. Your ankles joints are key to wellness. And what might inhibit ankle mobility? Previously we discussed swelling (peripheral edema) which can be brought on by high blood pressure, diabetes, pain, injury, being overweight among other conditions.

What massage might help with keeping your ankle mobility? Interestingly enough, according to a study done by PubMed, massage of the key calf muscles, i.e. the soleus and the gastrocnemius. In this study, a variety of modalities were applied to the ankle and surrounding musculature. This study in particular highlighted certain massage techniques including effleurage, petrissage and friction. These three showed the most promise.

When effleurage is done at the beginning and end of each session (these strokes are lighter in pressure and focus on moving the blood/lymph up the leg and toward the heart) it increases blood flow which brings nutrients and oxygen to the area. Petrissage (the kneading of tissues) is next and is used to warm up the muscle(s). It’s slightly more aggressive than effleurage, but not meant to be painful. Next friction is applied. Friction is a massage technique used directly on the joint in an effort to separate adhesions in the muscle(s), tendon(s) and any scar tissue that might be present. Friction helps release.

-Lisa Lane (#13098) is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist in the Mint Hill area. To book an appt visit her website at www.ncmassagesanctuary.massagetherapy.com

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