Firstly, it’s not just about pain in the lower leg next to shin bone (tibia). This further disturbs the whole foot dynamics and it may lead to ligament-al injury at the ankle or the knee or the famous IT band issue. Those who get it early in their career are susceptible to ankle injuries & anterior leg pain. Or continuous trouble with their IT band.
As per my experience, study, & observation, this is one of the main reasons why a slow mover, besides playing for a decade, stays slow. An injured keeps getting injuries.
Question: Why a slow/average fielder stays average all their career? Why can’t we get faster?
Ans: I think we can….anybody can…provided we understand what is slowing us down. These hidden factors can contribute a lot to our surprise.
Let us look into our foot biomechanics while running, bowling, etc in most cases:
Step 1: Landing on heel
Step 2: Lateral longitudinal arch provides support
Step 3: Transverse arch provides support to let the energy flow out of system coming from top and it assists in plantar flexion
Step 4: Medial arch together with transverse arch then withdraws energy from the ground – return of energy into the body (ground force reaction into our system like a spring)
If we are wearing spikes or shoes, in most cases. we land on heel followed by lateral longitudinal arch. And we then KEEP the foot INVERTED at the time of take off. Not following Step 3 & 4 accurately! Less speed or power!!
Function of Tibialis Anterior – Dorsiflexion & inversion of foot.
Function of Tibialis Posterior – Inversion of foot (& assist in plantar flexion & support the medial arch of the foot)
My point of contention -if we persistently INVERT foot then the obvious outcome of that would be – OVERWORKED Tibialis Anterior & Posterior – Shin pain.
We all understand that, however, I would like to pay attention to the more serious repercussions of this:
a) The line of pull of ‘ground force’ is unlikely to be at best when we are not using transverse or medial arch’s properly
b) Out foot gets weaker at dorsiflexion because the major muscle involved in dorsiflexion – our big toe (power house of our foot), is overworked with inversion. Irony?
c) If T posterior is also overworked with inversion then it would surely lose its grip on medial arch. This further means that not only we are losing the line of pull from the big toe; but we have also lost the pull at the arch.
Ques: Would this disturb foot anatomy? Would this disturb the functionality of our muscles at foot? Can this cause injuries? Can this keep us on the slower side most of our career?
From movement science perspective, the result of the above is overworked T Anterior & Posterior because of inversion losing its grip on dorsi flexion, stabilization, and support of medial arch.
IRONY – Overworked muscle without working on its key functions – dorsi/plantar flexion & support. Too much inversion would also change the orientation (structure) of foot that also reflect in shoes shape at times.
Analogy – Baseball pitchers getting injury in the elbow owing to pitching. It may not be because of weak shoulders or biceps. It could be because the pronation of arm negates the pull of biceps and therefore put lot of work on radialis muscle/s (agonist) assisted by ulnar & rest of forearm. Yes, arm is flexing every time we swing or pitch but which muscles are getting overworked? And if forearm muscles are overworked then that may put stress on elbow ligaments because of the massive amount of force coming shoulder down. A possibility?
Submission: We must work on biomechanics of a movement in training. It is not about correcting everything 100% in an action, and instead, it is about easing the tension in our musculoskeletal structure and saving ourselves from injuries and fatigued conditions (be efficient). As humans we have enormous capacity to improve and we should not give up.
WE MUST STRIVE TO IMPROVE….
BUT HOW? It is also very important.