The Effect of Ankle Bracing on Lower Extremity Coordination, Coordination Variability, and Neuromuscular Activity in Individuals with and without Chronic Ankle Instability
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Ankle sprain injuries and ankle bracing act as constraints that can influence natural coordination pattern dynamics. Recently, researchers studying the progression of chronic ankle instability (CAI) have used measures of movement variability to better understand the impact of injury and bracing constraints on movement dynamics; however research in this area is limited. The purpose of this project was to explore the influence of ankle joint bracing on lower extremity coordination, coordination variability and muscular activity in individuals with and without CAI. Results indicate that, across phases of walking and single-leg hopping cycles, lower extremity coordination, coordination variability, and neuromuscular activity did not differ between individuals with and without CAI. Moreover, ankle bracing induced alterations in lower extremity coordination, coordination variability, and neuromuscular activity during walking and hopping tasks. Results from this study suggest that ankle bracing should be implemented with caution, particularly in performance and rehabilitation settings.