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Ankle flexibility test

This is an excerpt from Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology 3rd Edition With HKPropel Access-Loose-Leaf Edition by G. Gregory Haff & Charles L. Dumke.

Ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (DROM) is commonly measured because of its relationship with several lower-extremity injuries in athletic populations (10) and its impact on various aspects of human performance (35, 40). The most common test used to measure ankle DROM is the weight-bearing lunge test (WBLT) (43), which is sometimes referred to as the knee to wall test (35). The WBLT requires the subject to stand in a tandem stance and perform a forward lunge, keeping the foot firmly planted on the ground as the tibia progresses over the talus into maximal dorsiflexion (43). The ROM is then quantified by measuring the distance from the toe to the wall (43, 32). A result of <10 cm (<3.9 in.) is indicative of restricted DROM in most people (32). However, when this test is used for taller subjects, a false negative result is possible. Specifically, tall people may be able to achieve ≥10 cm because of the length of their tibia rather than because of their DROM (32). As such, it may be advisable to use goniometry (10, 43) or a measurement of tibial inclination (43) in order to more accurately determine ankle DROM.

Beighton Scoring System

The Beighton scoring system is often used to determine whether a person has excessive ROM throughout their whole body (10). This system was first described by Beighton and colleagues (8) and was later integrated into the more comprehensive Brighton criteria (18), which are used to determine benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS), often referred to as hypermobility in the lay literature (10). Based on this system, if a person has a greater ROM than the expected normal range for their age and sex, then they are classified as having an excessive ROM at the joint tested (10). Excessive ROM about a joint can have many causes including a past injury history that increases joint laxity, occupational and sporting activities, and congenital factors (10, 18, 42). Generally, joint hypermobility is more prevalent in children and females and in some ethnic groups (42). Overall, 5% of females and 0.6% of males display symptomatic joint hypermobility (47). When hypermobility is suspected, the Beighton scoring system can be used to inform exercise prescription and determine whether the individual should be referred to additional health professionals as needed (47).

More Excerpts From Laboratory Manual for Exercise Physiology 3rd Edition With HKPropel Access Loose Leaf Edition