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How Do You Check Dorsiflexion?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've been told a few times I have limited Dorsiflexion. My boot fitter, physical therapist, and massage therapist all have stated this. I don't doubt I have it. I also remember (faintly) that there is a way to determine if it is due to tight muscles/ligaments/tendons or bones. The former can be worked with but the latter is the cards you're dealt.

I'm pretty sure I have the bone on bone one but I'm both curious how to tell the difference and wanted to verify which one I have. I do know that when I stretch, my calves are usually tight and I work them almost daily. Part of this is also to see if there is something I can do to improve it.

post #2 of 7
Lots to think on here!

Start by checking your range. Get into a 1/2 kneel w your leading foot touching a wall- dorsiflex the ankle & have your knee touch the wall. Keep moving the foot back & flexing to the wall until your heel starts to raise. Measure from toes to wall. Most Physio/Mobility folk will tell you that 4-5 inches is needed to run & 5 to properly overhead squat.
post #3 of 7

You get the idea / don't use a wall w trim!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks I didn't know that.  I would still like to know how to figure out if bone or soft tissue is holding me back.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Btw I'm at 3 1/2" on each side. I did use a wall with trim but just added the 1/2" of trim in.

I used to run very well (thanks to the Marines) and did distance. I ran one marathon and marked it off my bucket list. Fastest mile was 5:11. Fastest 3 mile was 17:15. I thought nothing of going on a ten mile run and usually looked forward to it. I only bring it up because I was a pretty good runner and don't have the 4 ". You mentioned. I don't run now but that has more to do with me trying to save my cranky knees.

Maybe the 4-5" is meant for abnormally tall people like yourself. I'm of normal height at 5'7" if I ET my neck. biggrin.gif. So maybe us normal folks need 3 1/2" to 4 1/2" to run. th_dunno-1[1].gif
post #6 of 7
Too funny, I am actually 5'9" in the right shoes.

Those recommendations were based off of looking at injury data and comparing them to range of motion. The thought is is that you cannot eliminate load or stress from the body but you can only move it around. If you don't have enough Dorsiflexion, you will bottom out in another part of your body will have to compensate. In my case, it is my hips; in your case it may be your cranky knees. Certainly many people run with substantially less Dorsiflexion. I need to work really hard to maintain my measurements over 4 inches.

Over the inter-web, it may be hard to describe a boney versus a muscular limitation. It is best to have it assessed by a professional, yet if you consider the End Feel- sensation at the terminus of the range of motion, You'll get pretty close.

In most people, your Dorsiflexion is limited by the range of your calf muscles, your joint capsule, fascia, posterior skin tension, plantar structures, and some configuration of your bony anatomy. Boney anatomy is last for a reason as it tends to be the least influential factor. As you load the leg in an item such as a pistol, appreciate what the end feel. In most people it is a tension and a muscular pulling sensation. In 1% it is actually that grinding bone on bone physical stop.

Hope this helps!
post #7 of 7
Just realized this is in the Boot Guys forum....
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