Ankle Mobility: Why it’s important and how to test it

Ankle mobility, more specifically ankle dorsiflexion, is vital during everyday movements such as walking and going up and down stairs. It is also important for athletes, as it is required for squatting, jumping and adequate force production.

Dorsiflexion, simply put, is how far your shinbone is able to translate over your foot. If this motion is limited or significantly different from side to side, the entire kinetic chain can be impacted with lower body movements such as squatting, lunging and jumping. Research has shown restrictions in dorsiflexion as a potential risk factor for various knee injuries including ACL injuries, meniscal injuries and patella tendinopathy.

Dorsiflexion can be limited by one of two things:
1. Soft tissue restriction (the gastrocnemius or soleus muscle)
2. Joint mobility

TRY THIS QUICK SCREEN (See photo above.)
Find a wall and kneel close to it with your shoes off. Use a tape measure and place your big toe 5 inches from the wall. From this position, push your knee forward attempting to touch the wall with your knee. Your heel must stay in contact with the ground. If you are able to touch the wall with your knee while keeping your heel down, you have adequate dorsiflexion. If not, your restriction may be soft tissue or joint mobility.

The top ProMet Physical Therapy locations near Glendale, Queens, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Manhasset, Great Neck, Lake Success and Roslyn can address these impairments and get you back to functioning optimally!

Call us at 718-554-6610 to find out more about how we can best help YOU!


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