So last week I posted this message on Facebook: “Limited ankle mobility is a very common reason for nagging foot, knee, hip, and back pain in runners. Unfortunately not too many PTs or doctors are looking there. Maybe it’s time to call us and rid yourself of that pain for good!”
In the past week I have been asked 3 separate times about what is the best way to check your own ankle mobility and then how to improve it. So to bring you up to speed on why it is so important to have great ankle mobility I refer you to a previous blog post title “Movement Proficiency and the Ankle” which you can find here: http://www.elitepttc.com/blog/?p=20
Now for the measuring and correcting!
The first video below shows how I measure ankle mobility in the clinic with the foot on the floor and controlling the ankle to prevent pronation (arch flattening out):
To measure your own ankle mobility, simply assume the kneeling position shown in the video. Rock your knee over the foot to touch the wall measuring how far your big toe is from the wall with a simple tape measure. The heel must stay down and arch not allowed to collapse. The goal is 4 inches!
The next video demonstrates how you can quickly address the soft tissue component of the limitation. Be sure to measure again as we did in the video as this is the only way you are going to know if it is effective or not. Always follow the rolling with stretching.
If this does not result in an immediate improvement in ankle mobility, you may have a joint restriction that will not be resolved with rolling or stretching. Another sure sign of joint restriction is pain or pinching in the front or side of the ankle during the testing. This can often be resolved quickly with ankle joint manipulation and/or mobilization and certain taping techniques that I employ here at Elite Physical Therapy (in other words it’s time to call the professional).
If you have any further questions feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org