Jof has poor dorsiflexion in his ankle

December 22, 2015

Hi Guru,

Your team as Moorgate helped me so much last year I hope you don’t mind me asking a new question!

I’ve noticed I have poor flexibility (dorsiflexion) in my left ankle. If I do the knee-to-wall test my knee doesn’t get beyond my toes and when I do so I have discomfort/stiffness – feels like something is being compressed maybe – just above my foot in front of the ankle bone. My right ankle is fine. Possibly related, my left foot tends to get numbness/hot-spots when cycling.

How do I go about fixing this? Also, given that I’ve never sprained that ankle what might have caused this?

Thanks, Jof

December 22, 2015

Hi Jof

Fire away!

I’ve had a look through your notes from last year and looks like there is nothing to indicate “what” – but in the area you mention, right at the front of the joint, there’s not much “anatomy” so it becomes an either, or type situation.

Either you’ve always had this, but have only just noticed or it’s due to an anterior impingement, which can be due to “stuff” being trapped in the front of the joint. Your cycling may or may not have any relevance to this impingement. There’s a bit of me saying if it’s not a problem with day to day activity leave it alone.

If you really want this movement – go easy on the stretch/compression as we very rarely, prolonged and statically load this part of the joint so the stretch can irritate the front part of the ankle itself – try doing it (KTW) with a slight raise under your ankle….

Not sure I’d worry…

Jof wanted to follow-up:

Thanks for the reply.

I noticed it doing pistols; unless I raise the heal of my foot via a small book or a plate, I fall backwards on that leg. Similar issue with deep squats. Obviously this is kind of annoying so it feels like something I have to solve. Is it something I can improve at home or is this more of a “see the doctor since something might be wrong” kind of thing?


The Guru responded:

Don’t think there is anything wrong, and so don’t think a doc could help a jot!

You are what you are (thankfully!) and it sounds as if you’ve reached your anatomical limitation, we’re all built a little bit different and no matter how good pistol squats etc are, some of us can’t allow our body to fall into end, end range. We have to learn to control that terminal bit of range rather than just let it naturally sit. Lots of things are like this – putting your hand up back for example most right handers can’t go as far as their left…..

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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