Dorsi Flexion is the ability to lift the ball of your foot up towards your ankle.
Give it a try right now. Stand up evenly balanced. With one foot lift the toes and ball of foot upward without shifting your body. Tougher than you thought? The inability to produce enough dorsi flexion can cause a lot of gait issues and muscle imbalance. Those of you who can not dorsi flex adequately most likely over pronate also. You over pronate to compensate the lack of dorsi flexion. Again, this is how all kinds of muscular problems happen and lead to joint pain and overall body pain.
What causes poor dorsiflexion?
Poor dorsiflexion can be attributed to a number of factors. These include:
Flexibility issues with the Gastroc/Soleus complex (muscles of the calf).
Ankle joint restriction. This can be due to a tight joint capsule and/or scar tissue and adhesions in the joint from prior injuries or surgeries.
Anterior pelvic tilt posture. Bad posture (how often do you slouch when you’re sitting at your desk?) brings the body’s center of mass forward, which causes the ankle to plantar flex in an attempt to balance it out.
Ladies wearing high heels all the time. This puts the foot in extension for long periods of time and tightens the calf for long periods of time.
What to do about lack of dorsi flexion?
First, you may want to see a foot doctor or some type of movement coach, personal trainer or therapist who can give you exercises.
Secondly, learn some self myofascial release techniques. Use a foam roller on your shin and your calf. Use a tennis ball or golf ball on your foot. This will help loosen some of the soft tissue so that you can add some stretches.
Thirdly, learn Foundation Training. FT on a regular basis will have you dorsi flex, stretch the calf and the whole posterior kinetic chain. In time you will have more mobility and flexibility which leads to better movement patterns and less pain.
If you are in pain, bent over, have poor posture or really any body issue…contact me. Let me help you feel better. I work with an awesome network of practionors.
You do not have to stay in pain!