"Trigger points in lower leg muscles produce most ankle pain" Clair Davies, the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, 3rd Edition.
SHIN splints / gout?
Tibialis Anterior, Travell & Simons,
The Trigger Point Manual Vol 2
The Tibialis Anterior muscle attaches to the top of the tibia bone and all along its upper half. The long tendon travels down along the shinbone and crosses the top of the foot to its inner edge then wraps around to attach to the 1st metatarsal on the underside of the foot. All these attachments allow for dorsiflexion and inversion (lifting the foot and turning the bottom of the foot inward).
Trigger Points can cause pain in the shin area, often thought to be shin splints, Pain can also travel to the big toe, frequently misdiagnosed as gout. Effective trigger point will often remove these symptoms allowing for normal function.
The Soleus Muscle, Travell and Simons, The Trigger Point Manual Vol 2
The Gastrocnemius Muscle, Travell and Simons, The Trigger Point Manual Vol 2.
The Soleus, Gastrocnemius and Plantaris are three important muscles of the calf. They all attach to the calcaneus (heel bone) by means of the thick Achilles tendon, making them a primary plantar flexor of the ankle. Trigger points in the soleus are the primary cause of heel pain. Trigger points in the Gastrocnemius refer pain to the underside of the foot, often resulting in a diagnosis of plantar faciitis. Trigger points in this muscle can also be a major cause of night cramps in the calf. Pain can also be mistaken for heel spurs. Heel spurs may be present but not be the real cause of pain.
I have treated patients, not least runners, very successfully by focusing on these trigger points. Often the area of pain, the ankle or underside of the foot, is the focus of attention for treatment. If Trigger points are present in these muscles strengthening exercises and stretching will only exacerbate the problem. The muscle cannot strengthen if trigger points are present. Plus there might be some tension at the attachments to the bone, due to the tight fibres of muscle around the trigger points themselves. Stretching will only pull on what is already on 'over' stretch. Eliminating the trigger points first, followed by controlled rehabilitation very often sees a fast improvement and successful recovery from these many types of heel and foot pain.
"Thank you Lucy, since treating my 80-year old mother-in-law her severe night-time calf cramps are almost non-existent".