ANKLE PAIN and STIFFNESS??
Recently we have noticed an increased number of people coming to the clinic with ankle injuries. This area is one of the areas of the body that many people neglect to rehabilitate properly following injury. Accurate diagnosis followed by appropriate treatment combining hands on physiotherapy and rehabilitation is essential to prevent persistent stiffness, weakness and an increased susceptibility to future ankle sprains. In the modern era high heels, long periods sitting at desks and increased walking and running on concrete surfaces have also led to an increase in ankle mobility issues.
Limitations in ankle range of motion can cause quite a few functional and athletic limitations not only to the ankle but also affect your hip and knee. As a result it is imperative that even after the pain of an ankle sprain is long gone we complete a number of mobility drills to restore normal range of motion.
Read on for a great way to improve your ankle mobility in 3 easy steps
How to Assess Ankle Mobility
1. Stand facing a wall with shoes off
2. Put the big toe of one foot up against the wall and then bend the knee so it touches the wall
3. Move the foot back and bend the knee to touch the wall again (keep the heel of the foot being tested on the ground when bending the knee to the wall)
4. Keep moving the foot back until you cannot bend the knee so it touches the wall
5. Measure the distance from the big toe to the wall
6. Repeat with the other leg
AT LEAST 10cm is Desirable
Ankle Mobility Exercises to Improve Dorsiflexion
1. Dynamic Wall Stretch: essentially the same set up as the mobility test but oscillate at the end of range 3 sets x 10 reps on each ankle
2. Advanced Dowel Stretch: Begin in half kneeling position and then place a dowel on the outside of your foot at the height of your fifth toe. Now, when you lean forward, make sure your knee goes outside of the dowel. 3 sets x 10 reps each foot
3. Mobilization with Movement: Tie the Theraband to something heavy behind you. Step forward to create tension in the band, which places a backwards pull on your shin bone (tibia) as you move forward. 3 sets x 10 reps each ankle.
This is only one component of a 3 stage process to achieve maximum range of motion improvements; contact us today to find our more about how a customized stretch, self myofascial release and stretching program could help you.
Remember the information above is a general guide and accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified physiotherapist is essential.