Ligaments of the Foot with Bonnie Southgate

 In Foot

Following on from Bonnie’s last instalment on the Landmarks of the Foot – Today we’re looking at some of the key ligaments and soft tissues within the foot. In particular those which are most commonly affected in an ankle sprain

How many of you have clients or someone in your class who has had an ankle sprain at some point in their life?

There’s at least one in every group, right? And what’s really interesting, is how ineffectively rehabbed these sprains are. A poorly rehabbed ankle sprain can really set the foundation for a whole host of issues down the line – Every sprain is different but when treated ineffectively, it can cause a chain reaction up the body and could lead to knee, hip, pelvis and back issues. Whilst we’re not saying that all pelvis and back issues come from the foot…there’s a fair few that can be thanked by that neglected ankle sprain!

But today in our video, we’re palpating the locations and exploring how these ligaments may be subjected to trauma and injury – History is everything with your client. Especially if you’re working on a 1:1 basis. If you know of a client who’s had an ankle sprain, our top tip is to find out what position their foot was in when they sprained it. Get an idea for the movement of the ankle and how it got into that position because once you know that – You can work out which ligaments and muscles have been subject to the trauma, and from there you can work on effectively strengthening those key areas!

Let us know what you think – We love to hear feedback from all of our fellow Pilates trainers and teachers out there!


The next 3 ligaments are all found on the lateral aspect of the ankle:

Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL) – Attaching the talus to the fibula on the anterolateral side of the ankle joint, this ligament helps to prevent excessive plantar flexion and inversion.

Calcaneofibular Ligament (CFL) – This ligament attaches the calcaneus to the fibula, and would be subject to stress and trauma in excessive inversion.

Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTFL) – Attaching the talus to the fibula on the posterolateral aspect of the ankle joint, this ligament again, helps to prevent excessive inversion and would be subject to stress should the injury involve a falling back motion…perhaps where the heel strikes the ground first before rolling over into that excessive inversion.

The next 4 ligaments form what’s known as the Deltoid Ligaments – All of these are located on the medial aspect of the ankle:

Anterior Tibiotalar Ligament – This particular ligament is located on the anterior aspect of the ankle and it connects the tibia to the talus. The Anterior Tibiotalar ligament restricts excessive eversion and would be subject to stress in an over-pronated position of the foot.

Tibionavicular Ligament – As the name suggests, this ligament connects the tibia to the navicular and is similar to the Anterior Tibiotalar Ligament in that it prevents excessive eversion or over-pronation of the foot.

Tibiocalcaneal Ligament – The Tibiocalcaneal Ligament attaches on the medial side of the ankle and it connects the tibia to the calcaneus. This ligament would be subject to trauma during excessive eversion or over-pronation of the foot.

Posterior Tibiotalar Ligament – Finally, the Posterior Tibiotalar Ligament is the same as the Anterior Tibiotalar Ligament except it attaches to the same bones on the posterior side rather than the anterior. Don’t forget in our Bony Landmarks of the Foot video, Bonnie mentions that the Talus has no muscular attachment. It is a floating bone except it does have some ligamentous attachments.

Thinking of these Deltoid Ligaments in relation to those who are over-pronated in quiet standing may be worth a minute to pause – These ligaments will all be put into a constant state of stretch…

Soft Tissue:

Plantar Fascia – No doubt we’ve all heard of this one – A really common condition for people to suffer with is Plantar Fasciatis. The Plantar Fascia itself is a connective sheet of tissue spanning from the phalanges along the sole of the foot and then blending in to the attachments of the calcaneus. The Plantar Fascia helps to support the underside of your foot and your instep.

Syndesmosis – This is one of the more uncommon terms to hear about but it’s really important to get to grips with what this is and what it actually does. The syndesmosis is a connection between the tibia and the fibula. And it’s not uncommon for it to be subject to trauma during an inversion ankle sprain.

And on that note, we’ll sign off for today! Be sure to stay tuned for our next instalment in our Knee and Foot Series! We’re just getting warmed up and we’ve got loads of nugget size tips and information to share with you!

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