We already know that limitations in ankle range of motion can affect our movement and overall health. What about asymmetries between the ankles?
It's not uncommon to develop an asymmetry at the ankle. In fact, most of the time after a minor or major injury like a ankle sprain or an ACL tear, we are left with a difference in mobility.
This could be due to the body attempting to protect itself and/or inadequate rehabilitation. What we do know is that you move differently after an injury. You shift your weight more to one side and lose alignment. When we lose alignment we place excess stress elsewhere, potentially causing pain or contributing to dysfunctional movement.
An asymmetry at the ankle may cause us to shift away from the limitation in a squat. It may affect the way we walk, and it may change the way we jump and land.
Are your ankles symmetrical?
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.