Ankle stiffness and tight hips
Ankle stiffness and tight hips are actually linked!?
As osteopaths, we treat the body as a ‘unit’. in other words as we move in activity we create a chain reaction of movement through our body. Limitations in one area of the body (e.g. your ankle) can therefore often create symptoms in locations distant to this stiffness (e.g. hip muscle soreness and tightness).
Ankle stiffness and hip tightness are closely related, as restrictions in one joint can lead to compensations in the other joints over the lower limb and hip during movement.
When the ankle joint is stiff, it can limit the range of motion in the foot and ankle, causing compensations in the knee, hip, and even the lower back. For example, if the ankle joint is stiff, it may change the way the foot reacts when it hits the ground during walking, which can lead to altered reactions of the knee and hip. This can cause the hip muscles to become tight and overworked in an attempt to stabilize the hip joint, which can lead to further restrictions in hip mobility.
Similarly, if the hip muscles are tight, it can cause compensations in the ankle joint, leading to ankle stiffness. For example, if the hip muscles are tight, it can change the position of the foot during walking, which can put extra stress on the ankle joint and limit its mobility.
Therefore, addressing ankle stiffness and hip tightness through mobility exercises can help improve the overall function and mobility of both joints, reducing the risk of compensations and associated pain or injuries.