Monday, 29 December 2014

The Lunge Test

The ankle joint is such an important joint for normal function as it is really how the body moves forward over the foot that is planted on the ground. For this to happen the motion at the ankle joint has to be sufficient and smooth. There does seem to be quite a lot of inconsistency in the literature as to what is the most appropriate range of motion for the ankle joint and I really can’t find any definitive answer to what is normal. To make it more complicated some ranges of motion studies are done with the subtalar joint relaxed and some with the subtalar joint in neutral, as some dorsiflexion is available at that joint. To even further complicate it, some range of motion assessments are done non-weight-bearing and some are done weight-bearing. We do not really know how valid the non-weight-bearing methods of assessing the ankle joint range of motion are. The lunge test is one test that is done weight-bearing and with the subtalar joint in a relaxed position. While we have some general impressions as to what the normal range of motion for the lunge test should be, these are only general impressions with no definitive answer as what is normal. I just find it incredibly intriguing that joint that is so important for normal function especially running and walking, that we really do not know what is normal range should be.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Set up of the cycle for injury prevention

The set up for a bike is not only important for cycle performance, but also injury prevention. It needs to be done properly and done by a professional. Many different interventions are needed to help get it right. This varies from stretching exercises, strengthening, retraining and foot orthotics. Get it right from the start before problems develop.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio tape is not something that I have paid a lot of attention to. This is that bright coloured tape that you often see on athletes that became prominent during the London Olympic Games. It is a flexible tape that is claimed to have your neuro-mechanical effects but not necessarily supportive effects. The support is said to come from changes in muscle activity due to the nature of the taping. There are so many conditions that are claimed to be helped with Kinesio taping, but from what I have read of the research the actual evidence supporting the use of Kinesio taping is not that good. Furthermore research has shown that the quality of information on the web on Kinesio taping is also not very good. I have no problem using traditional tape for support when indicated, I am just not convinced that Kinesio taping is any better.

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Medial Heel Whip

The medial heel whip is a finding during a gait analysis in which the heel has a slight medial movement to it as it comes off the ground. As to what casues it, its not totally clear. Most physiotherapists I talk to about this say it come from the hip muscles. Most Podiatrists I talk to tell me its due to overpronation and they tend to call it an abductory twist. There is no evidence either way on this and I guess it depends on which profession you are from as to which one you are more likely to believe in. Either way, it probably pays to check both the hip and the foot and do it properly. Abductory twist or medial heel whip? Foot or hip?