September 2019

Assessment of Postural Stability in Young Physically Active Men with the History of Ankle Sprain

A study entitled “Assessment of Postural Stability in Young, Physically Active Men with the History of Ankle Sprain, published in the February 2016 issue of the Polish Journal of Sports Medicine, explored if patients with a history of low degree ankle sprains had a detectable deficit in postural stability. The impetus of the study revolved around the theory that when ankle sprains occur there is damage not only to the ligaments, but also to the mechanorecptors which enable detection of motion and joint position.

For the study, 27 young, physically active men were divided into two categories. A group of 16 subjects reported a history of ankle sprains. The remaining 14 subjects had no history of ankle sprains and thus served as the control group. The study applied two methods of postural stability measurement: stabilographic platform (which measures static postural stability) and Y-Balance Test (which measures dynamic postural stability).

The study found that the overall Y-Balance Test and the average values of the reaching tests in the posteromedial and posterolateral directions were higher in the control group than in the study group. On the other hand, data showed that reaching in the forward direction results were almost identical for control and study groups. The mean value of sway path length was significantly higher in the study group compared to the control group (by 85.08 mm). This data reflects impaired postural stability in the control group (p=0.03708). A higher maximum sway length and higher average speed values were present in the subjects with a history of ankle sprains. This suggests weaker postural control in the study group. However, the differences in test results between the control and study group were statistically insignificant.

The study concluded that ankle sprains do indeed result in weakening of postural stability under static conditions.  However, the study also concluded that ankle sprains do not significantly affect dynamic stability.

While this suggests

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