I would like to use this research study and article as a launching board for how we interpret and apply the results of a research study.
This study showed evidence that foam rolling induced modulation of spinal nervous system excitability (in other words, change in the sensitivity of the muscle spindle reflex).
Based on the two studies, the researchers suggested that flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior stiffness could be related to the development of shin splints. Therefore, these muscles should be palpated and assessed in our clients who present with shin splints.
A study from Belgium also showed that the Achilles tendon displayed a twisted structure, with the greatest twisting found in the deep (anterior) layer of the tendon (lateral gastrocnemius and soleus).
Muscle stretching has inhibitory effects on spinal cord stretch reflexes in both stretched muscles and also non-local non-stretched muscles of the same leg.