Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Ankle Injuries -- epidemiology; Ankle Injuries -- prevention & control; Ankle Joint -- physiology; Braces; Sprains and Strains -- epidemiology; Sprains and Strains -- prevention & control


Ankle sprains, are one of the most common injuries among athletes and individuals that perform dynamic activities on a daily basis. A common treatment or prevention for ankle sprain is the use of external ankle support in the form of braces or tape. This study's purpose was to determine whether external ankle support influenced dynamic performance measures.

The study consisted of 15 males and 15 females totaling thirty participants with a mean age of24.67 years old. Subjects were included if they were healthy and had no previous ankle injuries. Using the NeuroCom Balance Master 8.2, each subject performed two dynamic tests consisting of the Step Up and Over (SUO) and the Forward Lunge (FL) test. Each test was performed with the subject wearing ankle tape, an ankle brace, and no external support in addition to an athletic shoe on the right lower extremity.

Forward lunge results revealed that lunge distances were highest with ankle tape but significant differences were seen only between the taping group and the bracing group. Movement time in the SUO test was shortest in the control group with significance achieved between the control group and the taping group. A significant difference was also demonstrated in this maneuver in impact index. No other significant differences were found between groups.

In conclusion, these results indicate that the use of external ankle support for protection influences dynamic performance activities, some negatively, others positively, and extension may ultimately have an effect on more intense activities, such as cutting, jumping, changing direction, and other dynamic functional movements. In addition, the use of external support may also subject the ankle, knee, or hip to abnormal forms of stress when impacting the surface during these activities, which in turn may predispose these joints to injury or other problems.