NEW LIVE COURSE – Take the Mystery out of Gait: 4 Simple Steps to Becoming an Expert

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Instructor: Roberta Nole, MA, PT, C.Ped
Hosted by Ronai PT & Sports Medicine, LLC
400 Boston Post Rd., Orange CT

Course Date: December 11, 2021
8 am – 5:15 pm

1 Day Course – 7.5 Contact Hours
Pre-Approval Pending by ABC CTAPTA
Cost: $250

Join us for an ALL NEW Course in Orange CT. This course will be a live program utilizing lecture and lab with plenty of demonstration and hands-on practice. This one-day program examines pathological gait conditions, resulting from the occurrence of rearfoot varus deformities, forefoot varus and forefoot valgus deformities, as well as their combined effects.

Students will learn:

  • Foot Biomechanics Review presented in a way that is simple easy to understand
  • Rearfoot Deformities: Compensated vs Uncompensated and what that really means
  • Forefoot Deformities: Varus and Valgus
  • Simple Video Gait analysis
  • Clinical Conditions by Foot Type
  • Orthotic Selection Process and Prescription
  • A Review of Individual Case Studies

Who Should Attend

DPMs, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Orthotists, and C.Peds

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3 Ways to Improving Ankle Dorsiflexion

By Guest Contributor Dr. Scott Gray, PT, DPT

Dr. Scott Gray, PT, DPT, Back In Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy

Are you suffering from stiff ankles, repetitive knee pain, plantar fasciitis or other hip or lower back pain?

Hi, I’m Dr. Scott Gray. I’m the owner & founder of Back In Motion in Fort Myers, a doctor of physical therapy, published author, and inventor of the Gray Method™.

In this article, we’re going to describe how your ankle joint can actually be causing your pain and we’re going to show you three ways that you can improve what they call ankle dorsiflexion.

What Is Ankle Dorisflexion?

Ankle Dorsiflexion occurs when you draw your toes back toward your shins. You contract the shin bones and flex the ankle joint. Meaning the flexion of the foot in the dorsal, or upward, direction.

Improving your ankle dorsiflexion can help you achieve more mobility to help take pressure off your knees, plantar fascia, achilles tendon, lower back, etc.

Manually Mobilize The Ankle

The first way we can help improve ankle dorsiflexion is by mobilizing the ankle joint. This is a very important motion for function, whether you like to walk, play sports, run, you name it. This ankle needs to move.

Sometimes it can be the joint that isn’t moving and when the ankle doesn’t get moved optimally at the joint level, then it’s going to limit the range. Whether it be a muscle or not, we have to first get the joint moving.

So, this is a quick, easy treatment we do in our clinic to mobilize that joint. First we need to find what is called the subtalar joint neutral. Start to wiggle that forefoot, until finding the equal distance of the talus.

From here we stabilize that joint and block the tibia and fibula stabilized. Continue working and feeling for the glide of the talus posteriorly to improve that ankle dorsiflexion.

Now, we can mobilize it by continuing to glide it back and forth, and then we can even do a quick thrust down to the ankle joint as well to improve the ankle dorsiflexion mobility.

Hip Flexor Stretch 

The second way we can improve ankle dorsiflexion, which isn’t really known by a lot of people is actually attacking the hip joint.

So when we walk in gait, as I step through in a terminal stance, I need maximum hip extension with ankle dorsiflexion.

If I don’t have good hip mobility, I’m never going to improve my ankle dorsiflexion.

Find a chair or step and then from here you’re going to drive our patient’s pelvis forward. What we’re doing is mobilizing the hip into extension, but we’re also getting good, adequate ankle dorsiflexion in that terminal stance.

A lot of times your patients may even have a calf stretch, which is also indirectly going to mobilize that ankle because they haven’t really been in this position in quite some time.

We typically like to spend maybe 20 to 30 reps just mobilizing it then retesting. That’s a just a quick, down, and dirty easy way to get ankle dorsiflexion through the hip.

Downward Dog Calf Stretch 

The last way we can improve ankle dorsiflexion is working on the myofascial around it.

The calf is made up of multiple layers and these muscles that can become tight.

Earlier, we talked about how the hip can affect it and the ankle joint itself. This is a quick and easy way to stretch out the calf and so we like to do the yoga downward dog.

So we have our patient get into position by planting both hands flat on the ground in front of them, sending the tailbone up toward the ceiling. Feet should be hip-distance apart. Then just drive the heels down.

This is a quick and easy way you can just have your clients or patients rock their hips back, and that’s going to start stretching out the myofascial. You can hold it for a long duration stretch or you can do it dynamically if they’re getting ready to go for a run or work out.

Conclusion

There you have it, that’s three simple ways you can help your patients improve ankle dorsiflexion.

To recap, we discussed how you can manually mobilize the joint itself, mobilize the hip, and finally stretch the calf.

Incorporating these tips above could help with everything from knee pain, back pain, the achilles tendon, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, and so much more.

About The Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist & sports performance coach specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD™. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury or pain, go to physical therapy in Fort Myers, Florida , physical therapy in Cape Coral, Florida.