I have a client who has recently started to experience "numbness" and pain in his anterior tibialis when running or brisk walking. The issue is worse when on an incline and gradually gets worse as exercise continues until he is almost unable to dorsi flex his ankle. The discomfort subsides once exercise is stopped. My client links the start of this issue to having spent a number of hours kneeing while laying flooring tiles in his home. Any thoughts?
Thank you for your client concern. Numbness is a sign of a neurological compromise. The anterior tibialis is supplied by the deep peroneal (fibular) nerve (L4-L5). The common peroneal nerve wraps around the head of the fibula, passes under the peroneus longus, then divides around the extensor digitorum longus and becomes the superficial and deep peroneal nerves. Although the muscles surrounding this nerve move together, they can also move independently. The nerve can be entrapped or can experience abnormal tension from the anterior muscles. If your client was on his knees, most likely his foot was plantar flexed, therefore placing the anterior muscles in a stretched position. He may have “tweaked” or strained the muscles, which will lead to abnormal tension and thus a possible neurological impingement. Solution: Try using The Stick to release the anterior tibialis (this product will come with directions). If this creates greater aggravation, then stop and refer out to a physical therapist or an Active Release Practitioner (www.activerelease.com). If releasing the nerve doesn’t work, then we would suspect the symptoms may be coming from the L4-L5 region. Good luck!