Ankle Mobility


Summer is here which can really get you motivated to get out there and enjoy the weather. This sharp jump in activity can sometimes bring on some aches and pains in our knees, hips and everything else up the body. A good way to prevent any injuries is by making sure each joint has enough range of motion to ensure your body is working and your muscles are firing optimally. Since our feet are the first to hit the ground with any activity, it is best to make sure there is adequate motion there to decrease the chance of injury further up the body. Susan McLaughlin PT, recently posted a good way to check out the available motion of your ankle.

To paraphrase from her website Align Integration and Movement: Place your front foot with your big toe 4 inches from a wall. Keeping a straight foot, move your knee to the wall, keeping your heel down. Can you? How does your R and L ankle differ? If you can't get your knee to the wall without lifting your heel, your ankle is restricted! If you are petite, the angle made by the anterior tibia/shin to vertical is considered restricted if it is less than 38 degrees.

It is also important to note that unyielding hip flexors can also reduce toward-the-wall movement at the hip. Check out this post to help open up the hip flexors.

So you’ve assessed your range, and it may be a little restricted, what do you do now?

To start: Release your muscles and fascia around the ankle joint through massage work. Then incorporate stretches, followed with ankle mobility exercises.

If you are looking for even more information there is a wonderful book “Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Relief” by Kate Bowman M.Sc. available to borrow from our lending library that goes into even more depth about motion, not just at the ankle, but all the way up the body.

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