When we talk about Ankle Joint movement; it is the movement of the foot up towards the leg (dorsiflexion) or down towards the ground (plantarflexion).
Not achieving enough range of motion at the ankle joint causes compensations to elsewhere in the body. These compensations allow us to continue to perform our normal day to day activities.
These compensations include:
- limited knee movement
- increase in knock knee appearance
- increased roll-in of the foot
- increased forward lean of the body
- increased strain on our lower back
- The problem with these effects is that we are increasing the stress on other areas of our body that are either not designed to take it or not strong enough to take this load. This leads to increasing our potential for injury, especially overuse injuries.
So how can we improve our Ankle Joint range of motion?
Releasing of our calf muscles is the easiest way to do this. This can be done through using a foam roller to release tension in the muscle belly and a stretching programme for tight muscles.
Other individuals may require further hands on assistance in the clinic to increase range of motion in the ankle joint. This can be through Foot and Ankle Joint Mobilisation, Dry Needling and Massage.
So, next time you’re in the gym spend some time on the foam roller or if you’re cooking in the kitchen stretch your calves with the foot up against the wall. If you’re having issues already, have your Ankle Joints assessed properly by our podiatrists at Pro Health Care. This may hold the key to early detection, receiving treatment and getting you pain free.
Joshua Kinsman, Pro Podiatry SA