n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - The effect of prophylactic knee bracing on proprioception performance in first division rugby union players : original research article

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



&lt;I&gt;Objective.&lt;/I&gt; To investigate the effects of prophylactic knee bracing on proprioceptive performance among first division rugby union players during a 2-minute Wilknox Quad Time Logger balancing task. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Design.&lt;/I&gt; Each subject performed a 2-minute balancing task on the Wilknox Quad Time Logger. Test order, left or right leg, and the sequence of brace or non-brace, were randomised. Subjects were placed on the balancing board and instructed to balance for 2 minutes. Subjects performed 6 trials. Two days elapsed between testing. Each testing day involved 2 trials, 1 trial with and 1 without the prophylactic knee brace. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Settings.&lt;/I&gt; Testing took place at the biokinetics laboratory of the University of Zululand. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Subjects.&lt;/I&gt; Thirty playing (not injured) male rugby players, aged 22 - 30 years, participating in the KwaZulu-Natal club championships (2000). <br><I>Outcome measure.&lt;/I&gt; Performance was measured in terms of time that balance was lost in a dynamic balance test. Peak proprioception was the best balancing performance recorded, and average proprioception the average balancing performance for all trials. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Results.&lt;/I&gt; The findings showed an improvement of 17.9% in average proprioception times and 19.1% in peak proprioception times with the application of a prophylactic knee brace (&lt;I&gt;p&lt;/I&gt; < 0.01). Conclusion. Prophylactic knee bracing improved proprioception performance of playing (uninjured) rugby players, and therefore may be responsible for the improvement in knee injury statistics reported in some studies on knee bracing.

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