I struggle with extreme tone in my soleus making my foot prone in a dorsi-flexsion position. The tone is so strong that it throws me off balance -- even when trying to brace my foot in a neutral position using an AFO. No amount of stretching seems to help. A massage therapist recently told me that I need to break down fascial adhesions in my calf that are keeping me from stretching effectively. I can't find any medical research on fascial adhesions. What is your view of this? What are your recommended approaches to breaking down fascial adhesions? Other ideas?
Using a foam roll can be helpful in breaking down fascial adhesions, but it is not likely that this alone will help with your spasticity. While stretching the lower extremities is very important for spasticity management and mobility in general, it is not always enough to manage your symptoms. If the spasticity is affecting your function, balance, and safety it would be beneficial for you to make an appointment with a physiatrist. A physiatrist is a type of doctor who can help you manage your spasticity from a medical standpoint. If you do not have access to a physiatrist, your neurologist can also help with this.
In the mean time, keep up with the stretches. You might also seek out a physical therapist; but in cases of moderate to severe spasticity, having the physiatrist and physical therapist work together with you would the best option!
Sarah Wargo, DPT MSCS
Mt. Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital