I’ve recently had several discussions regarding the ankle mobilization in my Alleviating Ailing Ankles article that uses a posterio-anterior force on the tibia.
One major topic that arises is Bill Hartman’s use of a lifting strap to apply a posterior force on the fibula and mine is seemingly opposite…
So what’s the deal? What’s “best”?
Honestly, they are complementary, and, by virtue, there is no "best" option. Bill's technique is aimed at tracking the fibula posteriorly, which must occur in dorsiflexion or the syndesmosis can be damaged or range of motion is limited. In regards to the exercise presented in my article, the force is in place to pull the tiba anteriorly on the talus, which is also necessary to attain good dorsiflexion ROM. An advantage I see with Bill's technique is that it also provides stabilization for the talus, which often is thrown out of whack with ankle injuries. Typically, you'll see the dysfunctional ankle exhibit the talus moving anteriorly and superiorly in the ankle mortise during dorsiflexion. By providing that anterior buttress, perhaps we are preventing some degree of anterior talus migration. I'm using both right now and seeing some good things. I'll let you know if I discover one works better than the other. Best regards, Carson Boddicker