Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Ankle pain and shoelaces—an unexpected connection

We recently had a patient with chronic insertional achilles tendinopathy and anterior distal tibiofibular joint sprain.  We looked at his footwear and all seemed to fit well. After trying many types of taping techniques (ie mulligan and kinesio taping) with no decrease in his pain. Finally we had him bring in his boots again and we altered his lacing pattern.  In his next therapy session he experienced a decrease in pain in both areas.

My theory for why this reduced his pain is that the lacing pattern limited his range of motion at the ankle joint.  Limiting the ankle range of motion resulted in increased compression of the front of the ankle and placed increased tension on the achilles tendon.   This is not a cure all for all foot and ankle problems.  It something to explore during the course of physical therapy.

With any lower extremity injury it is important to look at footwear and make adjustments. I have never seen this reaction to physical  therapy for insertional achilles tendinopathy and anterior distal tibiofibular joint sprain before, but I will certainly be looking out for it in the future.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation located in the Gabriel Realty Buidling at One East Ridgewood Avenue in Wyckoff, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and Bergen County region.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a orthopedic or sports physical therapy rehabilitation program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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