The Weight-Bearing Lunge Test (WBLT) is a quick and convenient test used to “determine dorsiflexion ROM” (Hall. E and Docherty. C, 2017) in a weight-bearing position (closed Kinetic chain). The amount of lower limb dorsiflexion is a common point interest for lower limb pathologies as this is one of the first areas of the body to interact with the ground and ground reaction force during activity.
The WBLT has been used to help potentially identify risk lower extremity injuries, which may include the risk of; ACL rupture, Ankle instability (chronic and acute) as well injuries associated with poor landing mechanics (Hall et al 2017).
- Persons with chronic ankle instability CIA) have demonstrated less dorsiflexion ROM during gait and less knee flexion during landing than persons without CIA. (Hall et al 2017).
- Persons with less dorsiflexion ROM demonstrated a less flexed landing strategy that was less efficient at attenuating GRF. (Hall et al 2017).
- A lower degree of ankle dorsiflexion in subjects with an ACL injury than in uninjured controls. (Wahlstedt. C and Rasmussen-Barr. E, 2015).
It may be hypothesised that an inability to demonstrate adequate foot and ankle dorsiflexion may potentiate greater stress and strain further up the kinematic chain.
The WBLT is a valuable test used in a clinical setting that can;
- Set movement baseline measures for patients and clients to tailor unique management plans to the individual.
- Baseline measurements can help determine how great a risk the individual is for future injury.
- Aid in the assessment of return to play and activity objective measures to reduce the risk of injury and improve patient and client outcomes.
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