Knee To Wall

When we think of load going through the body it’s pretty simple to understand that the body does a good job absorbing ground reaction force by spreading it through different joints of the body. Effectively, each joint of the body has the capacity to absorb some form of shock and dissipate it.

Unfortunately in sport, or basketball more specifically, following insufficient rehabilitation, we start to load our body in abnormal biomechanical patterns. I say basketball more specifically, because in our sport, we have a high incident of ankle injuries. Here, we often take a few days off, can walk again and return to running with pain as our guiding factor. When this doesn’t fit into our self-proclaimed medical rehabilitation time frame, we may seek further medical assistance in returning us to sport. Even here, unfortunately I’ve seen ankles exceptionally poorly rehabilitated, and recurrent ankle sprains are high. It’s a pet hate, hearing “ahh I just have weak ankles” and patients accepting defeat that there is minimal they can do.

Strengthening and rehabilitating an ankle is one of the more simplistic things, but is so commonly neglected. I never ban my athletes from returning to sport when pain free, but I do make a conscious effort to never allow another rolled ankle to occur by equipping them with the tools to wean out of bracing or taping, into basic basketball shoes. Yes, I’ll educate them on shoes, and that’s been discussed previously. Yes, I’ll educate them on hip strength, and that will be discussed in future. But more importantly, it’s important to return to adequate ankle range of motion. There is plenty of literature to support this, and my simple explanation lies in the body’s ability to shock absorb.

The figure lies at 12-14cm. This is an iPhone length. Place the phone there and start stretching, until your heel remains on the ground and you have sufficient range, so that your knee hits the wall comfortably. Only once this range has been restored will you be loading your body in a more appropriate manner.

Good Luck!

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