Limited Dorsiflexion and Knee Injuries

If you were to walk on your tippy-toes, your ankle joint (talocrural region) would be in what is called plantarflexion. Alternatively, if you were to walk on your heels, your ankle joint would be in what is called dorsiflexion. Limited range of motion in ankle dorsiflexion is an important component in altered knee biomechanics. So, if you are dealing with knee pain, the source the pain may not be in the knee itself, but instead the ankle. The ideal range of ankle dorsiflexion is 0-20 degrees. Limitions in this range of motion can alter neutral knee alignment (often valgus) and increase risk factors of ligament and cartilage tears (ACL, MCL, Meniscus), patellofemoral pain, and knee osteoarthritis. So, if you identify limitations in the ankle and are currently dealing with knee pain, increasing ankle range of motion may be an important contribution in reducing the risk of knee injury.

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