What does dorsiflexion mean?

Last Update: October 15, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got a complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Tyra Marks DVM
Score: 4.7/5 (38 votes)

Dorsiflexion is the backward bending and contracting of your hand or foot. This is the extension of your foot at the ankle and your hand at the wrist. ... Dorsiflexion occurs in your ankle when you draw your toes back toward your shins. You contract the shinbones and flex the ankle joint when you dorsiflex your foot.

What is the purpose of dorsiflexion?

Dorsiflexion is the action of raising the foot upwards towards the shin. It means the flexion of the foot in the dorsal, or upward, direction. People use dorsiflexion when they walk. During the middle stages of weight bearing and just before pushing off the ground, the foot will reach its end range of dorsiflexion.

What does dorsiflexion mean in nursing?

During dorsiflexion, the back (upper) side of the foot moves toward the shin, decreasing the angle between these two surfaces, leaving the toes pointing closer toward your head. When you try to walk on your heels only, you dorsiflex the foot.

What is the Dorsiflex?

Definition. The term of dorsal flexion describes the bending (flexion) of a movable segment in the dorsal direction, that is to say in direction of the back, the back of the hand or the back of the foot. In other perspectives of view, this movement can be described as extension (that is to say stretching, extending).

How long does it take to improve dorsiflexion?

The meta‐analyses (fig 2​) found that static stretching increases ankle dorsiflexion compared with no stretching after ⩽15 minutes (WMD 2.07°; 95% confidence interval 0.86 to 3.27; p = 0.0008), >15–30 minutes (WMD 3.03°; 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 5.75; p = 0.03), and >30 minutes of stretching (WMD 2.49°; 95% ...

Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion of the Foot | Anatomy Body Movement Terms

42 related questions found

What happens during dorsiflexion?

Dorsiflexion occurs in your ankle when you draw your toes back toward your shins. You contract the shinbones and flex the ankle joint when you dorsiflex your foot. You can also dorsiflex your foot by lifting the ball of your foot off the ground while standing, keeping your heel planted into the ground.

How much dorsiflexion is normal?

The normal range for ankle joint dorsiflexion was established as 0 degrees to 16.5 degrees nonweightbearing and 7.1 degrees to 34.7 degrees weightbearing. A statistically significant (p < 0.01) difference exists between the two measuring systems.

What is the difference between dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion?

Dorsiflexion occurs when you lift the forward portion of the foot up (rocking back on your heels with the balls of your feet elevated). Plantarflexion occurs when you push the forward portion of the foot down (raising your heels off the ground as you go up on the balls of your feet).

Is dorsiflexion the same as extension?

Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion

Dorsiflexion of the hand is a confusing term, and so is rarely used. The dorsum of the hand is the posterior surface, and so movement in that direction is extension. Therefore we can say that dorsiflexion of the wrist is the same as extension.


What nerve is responsible for dorsiflexion?

The deep peroneal nerve innervates the anterior muscles of the leg by traveling deep to the peroneus longus. This nerve supplies the tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, peroneus tertius, and extensor hallucis longus. These muscles control foot dorsiflexion and toe extension.

What muscles are used for dorsiflexion?

The tibialis anterior muscle, found in the anterior compartment of the leg, is the primary muscle that facilitates dorsiflexion of the ankle joint. The peroneus longus and Peroneus Brevis muscles, found in the lateral compartment of the leg, function to facilitate eversion of the ankle joint.

What nerve causes foot drop?

The peroneal nerve is part of the peripheral nerve system, and branches from the sciatic nerve in the leg. Injury to the peroneal nerve can cause foot drop, a distinctive way of walking due to an inability to bend the foot upward at the ankle.

Does running improve dorsiflexion?

Why Dorsiflexion Is Important for Running

As everything moves up the kinetic chain, runners should always seek to improve dorsiflexion to stave off short- and long-term injuries in their legs, hips, back and neck.


What are the 4 types of range of motion?

Range of motion exercises
  • Passive.
  • Active.
  • Active assistive.

Can ankle dorsiflexion improve?

A systematic review by Radford has shown that static ankle dorsiflexion stretching can lead to a statistically significant improvement in motion. A more recent meta-analysis revealed a 5-degree increase in mobility after ankle dorsiflexion stretches.

What is considered normal range of motion?

Joint range of motion refers to both the distance a joint can move and the direction in which it can move. There are established ranges that doctors consider normal for various joints in the body. For example, one study determined a normal knee should ideally be able to flex, or bend, to between 133 and 153 degrees.

Is dorsiflexion necessary for walking?

For normal walking, proper ankle dorsiflexion ROM is necessary to absorb the body weight and contributes to the forward body movement during the stance phase of the gait cycle1).


Why is my ankle mobility so bad?

Poor ankle mobility is caused by a general lack of flexibility in the muscles in the calf and back of the lower leg, ankle joint issues (or stiffness) from prior injury or surgery, or frequent use of high heels,” says Wickham. However, poor ankle mobility does not have to be a permanent detriment to your training.

Can exercise help foot drop?

Exercises for foot drop are designed to help strengthen the lower limb muscles so that you can lift your foot up normally again. Exercise also helps stimulate and rewire the brain, which make it an effective way to overcome foot drop after a stroke or brain injury.

How can I improve my foot mobility?

Lay a small towel on the floor in front of the body, with the short side facing the feet. Place the toes of one foot on the short side of the towel. Try to grasp the towel between the toes and pull it toward oneself. Repeat this exercise five times before switching to the other foot.

Why do my ankles feel tight and stiff?

Stiffness in both of your ankles means it's more likely that the underlying cause is a natural, age-related condition such as arthritis, but it could also be related to a repetitive motion injury or other causes.


What causes dorsiflexion weakness?

Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot. Causes of foot drop might include: Nerve injury. The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a nerve in your leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot (peroneal nerve).