Equinus Part 1

Basically equinus means a tight calf (or tight Achilles) and the tendency to have limited ankle joint range of motion. This can be similar to a person wearing high-heeled shoes and the heel is off the ground or quickly elevates off the ground during gait and weight is rapidly transferred to the ball the foot. This also means there is limited ability of the ankle and its ability to flex upward with the top of the foot toward the front of the leg. The ball of the foot which would include the weightbearing metatarsals in the forefoot, receive much more stress load than they are designed to take. The load is increased faster than normal and during a normal gait cycle they receive a disproportionate amount of weightbearing time and force. 

So if there is any slight imbalance on the ball the foot, the equinus force will result in increased stress load in the wrong place. A very similar condition can result when patient presents with large muscular calves and all that muscle bulk has the tendency to pull the heel up quickly. Some individuals and especially some children are "toe walkers". Either they walk around on the ball of her feet or as they are walking that heel comes up quite quickly or they have a "bouncy" gait were the heel just rapidly lifts up. There can be a gastrocnemius equinus or shortening of the gastroc muscle or a combination of gastrocnemius and soleus muscle equinus. Gastrocnemius equinus seems to be the most common.

If you are experience foot or heel pain, give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today.

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