Who do people lack ankle dorsiflexion? Well, the answer here is quite simple: There are a ton of reasons. I’m going to outline for you here some of the biggest reasons a person will lack mobility of ankle dorsifelxion.
For starters, why is this motion so important? Well, gait for starters… Kind of hard to walk with a proper push off… Also a little difficult to swing through without enough DF to pull through. When an individual lacks proper DF range, we’ll see a multitude of compensatory patterns- especially at the hip/pelvis. That excessive hip hike on the swing leg to give proper clearance to the foot can lead to bilateral hip dysfunction coming from the potential creation of a pelvic issue, it can cause QL to go into spasm leading to lumbar dysfunction, etc, etc, etc. This list can be endless…
With all of that being said- here are my top reasons what might be causing the lack of ankle dorsiflexion when it’s determined a mobility issue is present. (For the purpose of this little blog, we are ruling out any neurological issues or motor control issues)
1- Decreased posterior glide of the distal tib-fib joint.
2- Hypo-mobile Great Toe- This and DF go hand in hand.
3- Restricted Soleus
4- Bony Lesion to the Talus causing a “block”