Schedule Appointment

Mobility and Stability in the Lower Body

By Alyssa Burke, LPTA

Ankle and foot problems are common and can impact people of all ages and activity levels. Conditions in the foot and ankle can vary from fractures to sprains. When these injuries occur, it is often a result of an imbalance in the joint or surrounding soft tissues in your ankle. This imbalance usually pertains to a lack of mobility and or stability, two very important factors that allow your joints to function properly and prevent injuries.

It’s important to have a good understanding of what the words ‘mobility’ and ‘stability’ mean. What is mobility? Mobility is the area in which the bones within the joint can articulate or move.  What is stability? Stability is the ability to maintain control over a joint and how it moves. The relationship between mobility and stability is essential for a joint to function properly. A good amount of mobility allows a person to perform movements without restrictions. Our joints move in more than one direction so it is important to have good mobility and stability in every joint. When there is an imbalance within a joint, it not only impacts that joint but it can also moves up or down the kinetic chain causing you to feel problems in other joints in your body.

Let’s pretend your ankle is lacking mobility with the motion of dorsiflexion. This is the bending movement of your ankle that brings your foot towards your shin. If you are unable to perform the full range of motion and try to perform a squat, your body will start to compensate for this lack of motion. This is done by recruiting other joints in your body to assist in performing the task. By repeatedly performing movements incorrectly with compensations, you are putting yourself at risk for developing injuries not only in your ankle but in the joints your body is recruiting to assist in the activity.

It is important to address these problems as they arise. If ankle problems go untreated, they can get worse or snowball and start to affect other joints in your body. If ankle problems are ignored, you could lose range of motion and or strength in your ankle and foot. You could also experience pain and swelling that will limit your daily activities and interfere with hobbies and exercise. Physical therapy can help you resolve ankle and foot injuries. With the help of physical therapy, we can isolate the root of your problem. With an appropriate plan of care, you will be able to work one on one with skilled clinicians to help restore and improve your range of motion, decrease your pain and swelling and increase your strength and stability to allow you to return to daily activities and hobbies with better body mechanics and educational tools to prevent this from becoming a reoccurring injury.

Call our office TODAY at 73-450-4300 if you are dealing with a foot or ankle pain or injury. CLICK HERE for more information on how physical therapy can handle a foot or ankle issue. 

Tags: , , , , , ,