The effects of ankle orthoses and taping on lower extremity kinematics

Wisthoff, Bethany Anne
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
The ankle is the most common injury site in physically active individuals, with lateral ankle sprains being the most frequent injury in sports involving running, jumping, and agility activities. These activities potentially force the ankle to move into excessive inversion (INV) and plantar flexion (PF), which is the most prevalent mechanism of injury for lateral ankle sprains [1-5]. External ankle orthoses and ankle taping are effective strategies to prevent ankle injuries and have been commonly utilized by athletes and physically active individuals [2, 6, 7]. Range of motion (ROM) restriction to prevent excessive INV and PF is a main objective of ankle orthoses and taping. Ankle orthoses restrict INV and PF even after 20-60 minutes of activity [1, 3, 8-11] whereas ankle taping loses its effect as early as 10 minutes of activity [3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12-15]. The level of ROM restriction provided by ankle taping remains inconsistent throughout the literature; ankle taping provides ROM restrictions in the frontal plane motion more effectively than sagittal plane motions [9, 14, 16-18]. Lace up orthoses are effective in restricting ankle ROM in the frontal and sagittal planes [3, 19], while semi-ridged hinged type of orthoses are effective in restricting frontal plane motion only [7, 11, 20, 21]. However, most of these ankle ROM measurements have been recorded two dimensionally in a non-weight bearing condition, which may not fully represent the functional capabilities of the ankle orthoses or taping in a practical condition [8, 22]. Influence on athletic performance due to ankle ROM restriction is an important consideration. No negative influences of the use of ankle orthoses or taping on various sports specific skills including sprinting, balance, and agility exercises have been reported [6, 9, 10, 19, 23-27]. Vertical jump heights have been reported to decrease up to one inch, however, its practical relevance remains inconclusive [9, 10, 13, 19, 23, 25-29]. While these studies provide critical information considering the use of ankle orthoses and taping for the competitive athletes, individual's biomechanical adaptations to the use of ankle orthoses and taping during a continuous running activity remain unknown. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of ankle orthoses and taping on lower extremity kinematics during continuous running activity. We incorporated the assessment of three-dimensional kinematic gait analysis during continuous running activity using two different types of ankle orthoses and ankle taping.
M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
ankle injuries
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