By North Ryde Chiropractor Dr Coco Ho
The ankle is one of the most important joints in the body, and plays a vital role in a variety of daily activities, such walking, running, sprinting, squatting, and much more. It is therefore important to have good mobility in your ankle joint, especially in ankle dorsiflexion, a motion that is often restricted.
In the following blog, Chiropractor Dr Coco Ho discusses Ankle mobility: how it can be affected, some simple stretches to improve your ankle mobility, and how Chiropractic treatment can help.
How can Ankle Mobility be restricted?
A common cause of restriction in ankle mobility is from the Dorsiflexion motion. Dorsifelxion is the upwards movement of the ankle and occurs in the talo-cural joint. Research has shown that ankle dorsiflexion contributes to 53% of force in walking, 41% in running and 34% in sprinting.
Mobility of the ankle dorsiflexion motion can be reduced due to a number of factors, such as muscular tightness, joint restriction or a structural issue. Restriction in ankle dorsiflexion can lead to overcompensation in the knee and hip joints, and consequently causing overuse/ dysfunctions in those joints, leading to knee/ hip pain.
What are some stretches that can improve Ankle Mobility?
Inclined ankle dorsiflexion stretch with yoga block
- Start with placing a yoga block against the wall with 30-45 degrees incline angle. (Alternatively, you can use a tightly rolled towel to replace the yoga block for the same result.)
- Place half the foot on the yoga block with approximately 90 degrees with the leg
- Lean the body forward and push on the wall until a calf stretch is felt and aim to get the ankle to around 45 degrees from the leg
- Hold the position for 5 seconds
- Return to the starting position and repeat this drill for 10-15 times per day.
Theraband ankle dorsiflexion mobility drill
- Find a table leg of a stable heavy table and tie a theraband (approximately 60cm) around it.
- Walk away from the table leg until a resistance can be felt in the ankle against the theraband
- Flatten the theraband as much as possible around the ankle and start in a half kneel position, 90 degrees to the shin
- Slowly lunge forward and bring the knee past the foot while keeping the foot flat on the floor, not lifting the heel.
- Return to the starting position and repeat this drill for 10-15 times per day
Half kneeling ankle dorsiflexion mobilisation with a stick
- Using a stick, half kneel on the floor with 90 degrees of both hips to the knees
- Place the stick on the outside the front foot next to the little toe.
- Lunge forward with your hips and knees so the inner part of the front knee is touching the stick.
- Aim to get the knee past the ankle joint as much as possible without lifting the heel.
How can seeing a health care professional help with Ankle Mobility?
If you are experiencing ankle stiffness or restriction in ankle mobility, you should consider seeing a Chiropractor or another health care practitioner, such as a Physiotherapist or Osteopath. Treatment with a health care professional will use techniques such as mobilisation, adjustments/ manipulation of the ankle joints, soft tissue release, and post isometric release to try and reduce stiffness in the joint and bring you back to full mobility.
Where can I find out more about Chiropractor Dr Coco Ho?
For more information on Dr Coco and Chiropractic care here at Ryde Natural Health Clinic, or to book an appointment, call RNHC Reception on (02) 9878 5021, or head https://www.rydenaturalhealthclinic.com.au/services/chiropractic/