Three 10- to 20-minute sessions per week for 4 weeks of resistance bands, BAPS board, or a combination of the two, worked equally well as rehabilitative treatment for chronic ankle instability (CAI) in high school and adolescent athletes, according to the findings presented in the poster, A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Effects of a 4-Week Ankle Rehabilitation Program on Static Balance Tasks in High School Athletes With Chronic Ankle Instability,2 which was presented by Mary Spencer Cain, PhD, ATC/L, the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Working with colleagues from the Department of Kinesiology at Georgia State University and the Department of Human Physiology at the University of Oregon, the team sought to determine the effectiveness of three 4-week rehab exercise (single and dual task) programs on several clinical measures of static and functional balance.
Overall, 43 participants (23 female, 20 male) were separated into four groups (resistance band, BAPS board, a combination of the two, and a control group where no exercises were completed); each rehab program ran 3 sessions per week for 4 weeks. Given the time-commitment challenges of both the participants and athletic trainers, each intervention lasted only 10-20 minutes.
“The chief takeaway was that any of the three rehabilitation exercises offered the same amount of effect compared to each other, and similar effect compared to the multi-station-type rehabilitation programs currently being done,” Cain said. “We were surprised that all three exercises had the same effect to one another and that no one intervention was more superior than the others.”
“They are helpful options that work and fit the narrow time period that high school ATs have to work with their athletes before or after practice,” Cain noted.
Because residual symptoms and high rates of re-injury are often associated with CAI and studies show that 33% of those with an ankle injury history will develop CAI, preventing its development is critical in young athletes. Based on these results, Cain said clinical athletic trainers can utilize any of the three exercises to rehabilitate their athletes with CAI.
Keith Loria is a freelance writer
Farraye B, Herzog V. The Effect of Kinesiology Tape on Balance in Dancers With Ankle
Cain MS, Goerger BM, Linens SW. A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Effects of a 4-Week Ankle Rehabilitation Program on Static Balance Tasks in High School Athletes With Chronic Ankle Instability.
Powden CJ, Hoch JM, Jamali BE, Hoch MC. Effects of a Multimodal 4-Week Intervention on Range of Motion, Balance and Ankle Strength in Those With Chronic Ankle Instability.
Burcal CJ, Sandrey MA, Hubbard-Turner TJ, McKeon PO. Improving Balance in Patients with Chronic Ankle Instability: A Clinical Prediction Rule for Balance Training.
Joo-Sung K, Dong-Ho P, Chang-Sun K, et.al. Reactive Balance Following Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain.