Limited range of motion at the ankle can cause excess stress at the knees, and spine, while negatively affecting common movements such as the squat, running, jumping, and balancing.
Healthy individuals should be able to actively dorsiflex their ankles 40-50 degrees when their foot is in a closed chain environment (fancy language for in contact w/ the floor in this situation). This is measured based on shin angle in comparison to the ground.
Several different studies have shown the following;
Limited range of motion at the ankle may…
Contribute to IT band tightness and a lateral pull on the kneecap.
May cause the calves to work harder and the quads to work less.
May affect squat depth and squat posture.
May cause the body to fall forward in a squat increasing stress on the spine.
May affect the pelvic position in a squat, affecting squat depth and spine stress.
May contribute to jumping injuries in training or sport.
May contribute to ACL injuries.
Limits balance and proprioception.
How is your ankle mobility? Could this be contributing to your knee or back pain?