If you are a strength coach or manual therapist, I can say with 99.9% certainty that you have at one point or another recommended a Standing Wall Stretch to a client or patient. You may have done so for various reasons, including improved triceps surae length, but have you recommended this stretch with external assistance?
The external assistance that I speak of actually comes from a medial arch support.
A recent study published in JOSPT, examined the effect of Standing Wall Stretching on a number of variables in subjects with "neutral" foot alignment and in those with "flat" feet. The variables examined were:
The main finding of this study was that following the stretching protocol, the difference in DMTJ was significantly greater in those with flat feet (pes planus). Therefore, for those of you who recommend the Standing Wall Stretch to improve gastrocnemius length, it may be wise to use a medial arch support in those athletes presenting with Pes Planus.
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