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The spring in your step

May 2, 2018

The spring in your step

It is rarely somebody will come to my foot clinic and say, ‘I have an ankle joint restriction'. Yet it is a very common cause of all kinds of foot and ankle problems.  I am referring to the movements that bring the non-weight bearing foot towards the floor or towards the body. There are many causes of reduced movement in the ankle joint. It is therefore one of the first things I check in a bio-mechanical examination.

                The effects of this reduced movement have been widely researched and among the associated problems researchers have found are:

·         Reduced mobility/activity.

·         Increased risk of falls in older people.

·         Increased risk of car accidents ( reaction speed)

·         The latest research article I read claims it can be a predictor of mortality. (How long we live).

One common cause is tight calves and subsequent tightness of the Achilles tendon which connects them to the heel bone. Less common is a bony restriction; put simply the bones collide and prevent further upward movement of the ankle. There are tests to determine the cause of the restriction, and related programmes of exercises to improve movement.

                So next time you are out for your walk check for the spring in your step. Bring your awareness to the movement at your ankle and decide if you are you a springer or a plodder.