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Knee Pain? More Like Dysfunctional Hips and Ankles

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It is important to remember that the source of pain is usually not the culprit. If you are experiencing knee pain it is important for you to look beyond the knee and really focus on how your hips and ankles are moving.

When viewing the body in this joint-by-joint approach and understanding that everything is connected, it is easier to diagnose movement dysfunctions and pinpoint areas that are not moving the way they should.

Having healthy hips and ankles that function properly can really help your overall strength, improve your squat and greatly reduce your risk of injury.

When looking at the ankles we want to make sure that their range of motion is where it should be. We need to focus on dorsiflexion (flexing the foot) and plantar flexion (pointing the toes). Our ankles are the start of the entire lower body kinetic chain. We need them to be moving well so that our knees, hips and lower back are free of pain. It is important to pay attention to the joint, as well as the fascia surrounding it.

Here are some mobility and strength drills for your ankles to keep them healthy and functioning properly:

  1. Myofascial release of surrounding muscles/fascia – think the bottom of your foot, achilles and calf. You can use a foam roller, lacrosse ball or Trigger Point roller. Think about rolling out each side for at least 2 minutes.
  2. Banded Posterior Ankle Distraction – Check out this video .
  3. Foot Drills – Check out this video.
  4. Toe Squats – Stay barefoot for these and think about 4 sets of 10 – Check out this video 

Hip mobility is also crucial for proper movement. If these muscles are constantly tight (which most people’s are because we sit too much) they will not move correctly and will cause issues in the low back and knee.

When focusing on hip mobility we need to really focus on working all of the muscles surrounding the hip joint.

Try some of these mobility exercises:

  1. Posterior Banded Hip Distraction – Check out this video 
  2. Hip Windup – check out this video 
  3. Split squat with rock back – check out this video 
  4. Pigeon pose on a box – Check out this video 

Remember that everything in your body is connected. If you are experiencing pain it is important to look above and below that point and ensure proper movement throughout.

Not sure if you have movement dysfunctions? Email Melissa@crosssfitboomtown.com to set up your movement assessment today!