Limited Ankle Dorsiflexion (foot going toward shin) is shown to be a low to moderate risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Why? Our body is incredibly smart and even when it is lacking joint range of motion in the ankle it will still accomplish the task at hand like running, squatting, lunging by compensating and increasing strain up and down the chain. This commonly means increased demand and force placed upon the plantar fascia over time.
Ultimately, there is a reason the calf is getting tight and holding trigger points in the first place. This normally comes down to either weakness, compensating for issues going up or down the chain, or overuse due to ramp up in volume of training too quickly. But as an overarching principle, you can never go wrong getting strong. Runners in our opinion should be doing some type of calf raise and progressing it over time to keep them strong. Especially if you notice tightness that only gets temporary relief with stretching and foam rolling.
Reminders: As you can already tell from the first three parts, a lot can play into plantar fasciitis. It can be a frustrating injury, as research has shown that it can in some instances take 6-12 months to fully resolve. This means patience is key but does not mean it cannot heal sooner, as we commonly see that if the actual issue and load management is attacked appropriately it goes much more quickly. Stick to a personalized treatment plan and progressions and you will reap the benefits long term.
References: Cook, Gray. Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment and Corrective Strategies. On Target Publications, 2017.
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