n International SportMed Journal - Do proprioceptive training programmes reduce the risk of ankle sprains in athletes? : review article

Volume 4, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



: To examine the role of proprioceptive training programmes in the primary prevention of ankle sprains in athletes.

: Electronic data bases MEDLINE, CINAHL, Current Contents, PreMedline, and SPORTDiscus were searched for papers published between 1966 and June 2003 using the subject terms: "proprioceptive training AND ankle sprain prevention in athletes." Additional references found in the bibliographies of sports medicine textbooks and in the papers retrieved from the database searches were also reviewed.
: Studies that focused on diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation of ankle sprains, and those that addressed prevention of ankle sprains by alternative methods to proprioceptive training techniques were excluded. Thus studies included in this review had to utilise a proprioceptive training programme that included one or more of the following elements: static balance training; hopping drills; ankle disk training; or training in safe side-to-side, take-off, and landing techniques.
: Five studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria, and only the data relevant to the results of proprioceptive training as the primary intervention were analysed in this review.
: All five studies found that proprioceptive training was effective for significantly reducing the incidence of sprains in those ankles that had sustained prior injuries. However, in three of the five studies, there were other confounding variables, so that the effect of the proprioceptive training could not be clearly identified. There were no studies that examined its efficacy as the primary intervention for prevention of ankle sprains in athletes with healthy ankles.
: The use of proprioceptive training reduces the incidence of ankle sprains in athletes who have sustained prior injuries to the same level as subjects without any history of ankle sprains. However, its efficacy as a single primary preventive measure has not been confirmed by current studies, nor has its role been determined for athletes without prior ankle injuries.

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