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Your Ankle Position Influences Your Knee Function

alignment fascia yoga postures yoga practice Nov 17, 2020

Your Ankle Position Influences Your Knee Function

The inside structure of your feet is not clearly visible from the outside. When you learn about the significance of the foot structure at the ankle joint you can understand the influence of your foot arches and the ankle position on the knee joint.
The key to this relationship can be found in the shape of the shin bone. When you trace the shin bone downwards along the leg, you’ll find it ends on the inside of the leg as your inner ankle bone.
The outer ankle is one end of a different bone, the fibula. Integrity of your leg and ankle structure is maintained by the fascia and other tissues connecting to and encasing the lower leg and foot area.

Each ankle bone, or talus, has flat vertical outside surfaces. These outer surfaces match the flat inner surfaces of the ankle areas of both the shin bone and the fibula.

Ankle movement - pointing and flexing of the ankle - happens when these flat surfaces rotate against each other.
It is this flat matching shape in the ankle joints, that stabilizes the ankle, but, on the other hand (maybe on the other ‘foot’ in this case) this joint shape prevents twisting sideways or any other movements you would like to bring to your ankle.

Looking at this direct influence of the ankle bone, essentially the uppermost bone of your foot, on the lower leg, indicates that your foot position at the ankle bone determines your lower leg position.
The shin bone’s other end at the knee, is actually the lower half of the knee joint. This means practically, that any movement of the shinbone is automatically a movement of at least half your knee.

Foot positions that twist or turn the foot will also have an effect on the ankle bone and with it the shine bone. This includes relationship includes also any changes to the foot arch.
A relatively lowered foot arch will turn the ankle bone downwards and inwards, resulting in an inwardly rotated shin bone.
Remember, the knee is part of your shin bone. This means a dropped foot arch goes with an inwardly rotated knee.
Similarly, a lifted foot arch, or walking and standing on the outside of the foot, result in an outwardly turned ankle and shin bone.
This relationship of foot, ankle, shin bone and knee is independent of the posture we are in. We can see the effect when standing straight, in a triangle pose, warrior poses, or any other pose in which the feet are weight bearing.
Postures with weight bearing on other parts of the body, i.e. not on the feet, can maintain knee orientation without having to hold a dynamically balanced foot arch.

For all weight bearing postures and movements on the feet, control of the foot arches, by toned and engaged foot muscles is one way to create more stable and healthy knees.

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