Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Keywords

Ankle Injuries -- rehabilitation; Postural Balance

Abstract

Balance is critical in maintaining optimal function in daily activities and also plays a role in higher balance functions, such as those used by athletes, whether they be competitive or recreational athletes. Control of posture and balance is a complex function that is mediated by the central nervous system using a dynamic combination of sensory inputs from the vestibular, somatosensory, and visual systems. Ankle injuries are a common occurrence in individuals, and it has been found that changes in proprioception occur in an ankle after it has been sprained and may cause deficits in the somatosensory portion of balance, leading to a decrease in function and/or an increased risk of injury.

The purpose of this study is to determine if balance can be improved in individuals with a history of ankle sprain(s) (at least six months prior to the study) following participation in a five-week balance training program. Eight subjects were placed in either the control group or one of two training groups. All of the subjects were assessed on the Neurocom® Balance Master prior to and following the five-week training period. One of the training groups performed a variety of balance activities, and the second training group performed those same activities but with the addition of the Hymanson, Inc.® Bodyblade. Subjects in the control group simply continued at their current level of activity. Statistically significant improvement was noted in some subjects in certain variables of static and dynamic balance skills.

This study may serve as a preliminary source of information regarding the effectiveness of a balance training program in subjects with a history of previous ankle sprains. Through successful techniques to improve balance, the physical therapist can serve to improve proprioception and balance skills in their patients who have experienced ankle sprains.

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