The most ignored joint and how to assess it

The ankle may be the most ignored joint in terms of athletic performance and overall function, however the foot is our only contact point with the ground. In most sports and day to day life, large amounts of ground reaction force is required, making the ankles importance obvious. Structurally speaking the foot is also our base and affects everything else further up the kinetic chain, from the knees to the hips and low back. When a pitcher plants his foot to throw a fastball, 50% of the energy comes from the waist down. There is an obvious link between issues maintaining dynamic posture and the inability to correctly perform a deep overhead squat. Ankle dorsiflexion, or bending your foot upward is important for many daily tasks, including stepping down stairs, walking and getting out of a chair. The lack of dorsiflexion, usually results in the person swinging their foot, or even their leg out in a circular pattern to compensate.