How Important Is Ankle Mobility?
As a physical therapist, I have seen firsthand how addressing ankle mobility can significantly impact functional mobility and physical activity. The ankle joint plays a crucial role in maintaining proper foot alignment and distributing pressure throughout the body. Any limitations in ankle mobility can cause a chain reaction of altered pressure and pain throughout the body, affecting an individual's performance.
Foot alignment is crucial to proper movement patterns, as it is the foundation of the body's support structure. If an individual's ankle mobility is limited, the foot's position and alignment can become altered, leading to compensation patterns throughout the entire lower extremity. This can result in an increased risk of injury and pain, as well as decreased performance.
Limited ankle mobility can also cause altered pressure throughout the body. When an individual cannot properly dorsiflex their ankle, it can cause compensations in the knees and hips. These compensations can lead to pain and discomfort, limiting the individual's ability to perform functional movements such as squatting, lunging, and jumping.
Addressing ankle mobility is essential for individuals who are physically active, especially those who participate in sports that require jumping, running, and change of direction. The ankle joint is responsible for absorbing shock during weight-bearing activities, and limited mobility can cause an increased risk of injury to the foot, ankle, and knee.
One of the most common issues that can be addressed with ankle mobility is plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes pain in the heel and arch of the foot. Often, this pain is caused by limited ankle mobility, leading to compensations throughout the foot and lower leg. By addressing ankle mobility, physical therapists can reduce the stress placed on the plantar fascia, leading to a reduction in pain and improved performance.
In conclusion, addressing ankle mobility is crucial for maintaining proper foot alignment, reducing pain, and improving functional mobility and physical activity. As physical therapists, we can help individuals identify any limitations in ankle mobility and develop a plan to improve it. By doing so, we can help our patients achieve their goals and improve their overall quality of life.