The ankles are hinge joints able to move on their own through one plane of motion, and that is the sagittal plane. There are two movements within this plane, which are:
- Plantarflexion – is the movement or pointing of the toes downward.
- Dorsiflexion – the most important movement in the ankles that allows the tibia to move forward, relation to the position of the foot.
Causes of Poor Dorsiflexion
- Flexibility concerns
- Ankle joint restrictions
- Anterior pelvic tilt posture
- Other injuries in the lower body (such as knee, hip, or back pain)
- Frequently wearing improper shoes, including elevated heels
When thinking of mobility, we usually focus on the shoulders, traps, quads, hamstrings, and hips. But what about the ankles? Ankle mobility is crucial for every performance and often the most neglected and forgotten. It is essential to spend time working on the flexibility of your joint, as it will help you improve your strength, squat, and reduce the risk of future injury.
How To Test Ankle Mobility
You need ankle mobility to produce power for your daily active life. One way to assess ankle mobility is through the knee drive test:
- Stand in a staggered stance facing the wall with your foot for about four to six inches away from it. If needed, use your hands for support.
- Bend your knee and try to touch it to the wall without raising your heel (front).
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- If you fail this test, you likely have a lack of ankle mobility.
How To Improve Ankle Mobility
To improve or increase your ankle mobility, do some stretching and strengthening exercises before every workout. Attempt the knee drive test weekly to track your journey towards recovery.
To learn more about how to improve your ankle mobility, give the professionals at Massage Rx a call now! We are best known for offering the best quality physical therapy treating all body pains and conditions, including your ankles. We have a team of fully qualified, licensed, and insured manual therapists for your peace of mind. Please see our video here for more information about ankle mobility:
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