The effect of ankle restriction on whole-body dynamic stability and intersegmental control

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Lesany, Andrew J.
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PROBLEM: Prophylactic ankle taping (PAT) has been used in the sporting domain as a protective modality on healthy individuals. Despite increases in joint stability afforded to the ankle, the potential for reductions in movement execution and detrimental compensatory mechanisms at more proximal joints remain ambiguous. PURPOSE: The present work sought to clarify potential injury and movement performance implications of PAT in a healthy population. Specifically, we sought to understand whether mechanical restriction at the ankle joint influenced the potential for injurious joint range of motion and force generation at the ankle and knee joint, by examining joint intersegmental angles and moments of force. Further, we aimed to analyze whole-body dynamic stability during sport-specific movements to determine the effects of PAT on movement execution. Together, these analyses provided context to understand potential transactions between whole-body stability to protect musculoskeletal injury risk. METHODS: Whole body kinematic and kinetic data were collected from 46 participants during five movements - ranging from uniplanar to multiplanar - which aimed to increase the challenge to stability and evoke changes in joint kinematics and kinetics deemed to be associated with knee joint injury risk. Three-dimensional ankle and knee joint angles along with intersegmental moments of force were calculated, accompanied by the margin of stability and angle of divergence of the net ground rection force. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to assess the effects of PAT and movement complexity on whole-body dynamic stability and joint-level variables, along with the potential for differential effects of PAT with movement complexity. RESULTS: PAT restricted the sagittal plane ankle kinematics and kinetics but led to no frontal plane differences. Investigation at the knee joint revealed no differences associated with PAT in either frontal or sagittal planes, except for a reduced knee abduction moment of force. Frontal and sagittal plane whole-body dynamic stability measures showed no difference between taping conditions excluding one timing condition. CONTEXT: This research suggests that PAT may be a useful application for non-injured populations as it provides sagittal plane restriction at the ankle with no injury inducing instabilities or compensations at the knee or in whole-body dynamic stability.
Prophylactic ankle taping, Margin of stability, Angle of divergence, Centre of mass, Ground reaction force