The aim of this study is to determine the effect of a balance training intervention on the
change in hyper-reactivity to unloading reaction, ankle joint laxity, ankle joint
proprioception and evertor muscle weakness in individuals with functional ankle instability
(FAI) using quantitative biomechanical and neuromuscular measurements.
We hypothesize that experimental FAI group will demonstrate a significant decline in
unloading reaction following balance training while FAI control group will not show a
significant decline in unloading reaction without training. We further hypothesize that
experimental FAI group will demonstrate a significant improvement in the FAI score after the
balance training measured by Ankle Instability questionnaire. Following balance training,
there will be a significant correlation between the change in FAI score and change in the
unloading reaction in the experimental group.
Conflicting results have been reported regarding the effect of ankle sprain on the
proprioceptive sensation of the ankle, peroneal muscle strength and ankle joint laxity in
the past research studies related to FAI. In spite of controversies regarding etiological
factors for FAI, balance training has been widely used in sports medicine clinics to treat
FAI. Most of these studies have focused on the identification of postural control deficits
in patients with FAI rather than trying to understand the mechanism of balance training on
etiological factors of FAI.
Hyper-reactivity of the ankle joint with FAI may be an important factor for the ankle
"giving way" episode. Patients may develop injury-induced hyper-reactivity for unloading
reaction through an adaptation to physical conditions of the ankle joint after injury.
Clinical studies performed with selective nerve blocks along with electrophysiology studies
performed in animals have led to the generally accepted conclusion that enhanced pain
induced by peripheral nerve injury is associated with increased spontaneous and evoked
discharges from injured and/or adjacent uninjured nerves. Persistent primary afferent inputs
are believed to cause a state of central (i.e. "spinal") sensitization and enhancing
responses to sensory inputs i.e. hyper-reactivity.
The ankle "giving way" is a complex phenomenon where any mechanical and neuromuscular factor
or a combination of mechanical and neuromuscular factors may be at fault including ankle
hyper-reactivity, joint laxity, proprioceptive deficit, and muscle weakness. The purpose of
this study is to examine the effect of balance training intervention on the various
etiological factors of FAI and to develop an objective measurement for physiological
features related to FAI.
The study will help us to understand the mechanism of balance training on FAI and help us to
determine the scope and limitations of balance training on FAI subjects in clinical settings
to evaluate treatment efficacy.
- aged from 18 to 45 years
- unilateral functional ankle instability (grade II or III)
- at least four weeks after acute lateral ankle sprain
- ongoing symptom of ankle "giving way" episode during functional activities
- active in exercise at least 2 hour per week
- seeking medical treatment for ankle symptoms
- being able to complete the test and training tasks.
- severe ankle pain and swelling
- ankle surgery in either leg
- gross limitation in ankle range of motion
- lower extremity injury other than lateral ankle sprain in past 12 weeks, (5) current
enrollment in formal rehabilitation program
- history of insulin-dependent diabetes
- any systemic disease that might interfere with sensory input or muscle function of
the lower extremity
- any joint disease or bony fracture in the lower extremity
- any previous experience of intolerance to electrical stimulation.