Ankle biomechanics: problems with this important joint can make their way up to other parts of the body

The ankle, which technically consists of three joints but is often referred to simply as the ankle joint proper (talocrural joint), is one of the most crucial regions of the body.  In addition to permitting most of the motion of the foot, the ankle plays a key role in transferring forces from the leg and rest of the body to the foot, and it’s therefore responsible for much of the functioning of other parts of the body.

Biomechanics is the study of how our bodies move, with the intention of correcting any faults or problems in these movements to reduce the chances of injury.  Ankle biomechanics are especially significant because any disparity that starts there can throw off all the postural muscles throughout the body, and increase the likelihood of a experiencing wide range of issues.

Among the possible regions of the body and injuries that can result from ankle biomechanical faults are the following:

  • Foot– heel spurs/plantar fasciitis (pain in heel), hallux valgus (bunion), hallux limitus (stiff big toe)
  • Ankle– ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis
  • Shin splints (throbbing/aching sensation in shins after running)
  • Knee– IT band syndrome (pain on outside of knee), nonspecific knee pain, meniscus tears
  • Low back pain– ankle biomechanics are directly correlated to low back pain, as problems in the ankle can cause tension and friction in the back

The most common biomechanical ankle fault usually stem from high arch or flat foot in one or both feet, which in turn affect the ankle.  Biomechanical ankle faults such as these can unfortunately be present without any pain or injury, so it’s important to identify these issues early on to prevent problems before they occur.

If you happen to be experiencing any of the conditions mentioned above or you’re concerned with the way your ankles move, biomechanical ankle faults could be responsible.  The best way to address these issues is to see your physical therapist at Advanced Rehab Solutions, where the biomechanics of your ankle can be assessed and evaluated.  Once identified, we can help create a program to improve your gait and better ensure your ankle is moving properly and without risk for future injury.