I think we have established that mobility is pretty important, especially for runners. I talk with a lot of runners and most of them say things like “my ankles are so stiff” or “my hips feel so tight”. So if you have said those things, then you aren’t alone.
We decided to put together a list of some of the most important mobility assessments to make sure your joints are moving properly.
Big Toe Mobility
This is one that so many people don’t even know to look at. Your big toe should be able to bend backwards at least 50 degrees for normal gait. If it doesn’t then your foot will have to do weird things like turning outward to get your leg behind you and clear it to swing forward. This is how bunions develop because all that extra sideways torque on the toe will push it inward.
Ankle mobility is also important for getting your leg behind you when running. The knee to wall test is a nice way to check and see if you have enough range of motion and a visual way to track your progress.
Hip Extension Mobility
We keep talking about getting your leg behind you (hip extension), well this test checks to see if you have enough mobility at your hip for that task. If you don’t have the proper range of motion for hip extension, then your low back will have to make it up. Putting load on the back like that is one of the common causes of back pain when running.
Don’t continue to struggle with running injuries. At Limitless Performance Physical Therapy, we do a head to toe assessment to find out what limitations you have and customize a plan to address them. We help get you back to what you love most – running!