The Effects of Visual-Spatial Distractor Task Paired Stability Training on Ankle Stability Following a Single Leg Lateral Ankle Inversion Sprain

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Chan, Simon Yingleung




Ankle sprains are a common injury with high rates of recurrence, even after discharge from rehabilitative therapy, likely the result of chronic ankle joint instability. Current rehabilitative training primarily consists of cognizant stabilization, where participants are instructed to specifically focus on stabilization of the ankle. This approach primarily utilizes the motor cortex and requires attentional resources. However, ankle joint stability is innately maintained by the cerebellum. We hypothesized that stability training paired with a visuospatial distractor task, leads to greater improvements in ankle stability. All participants were diagnosed with a single leg ankle inversion sprain and performed the same 4-week stability training, except the experimental group training was paired visuospatial distractor. Average muscle activity required to maintain ankle joint stability decreased 59% in the experimental group, compared to 4% in the control. This suggests a benefit in utilizing a paired distractor to improve ankle stability following an acute inversion sprain.


Rehabilitation and Therapy




Carleton University

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