Author(s): Donovan L, Hart JM, Hertel J
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: Randomized crossover laboratory study. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of ankle destabilization devices on surface electromyography (sEMG) measures of selected lower extremity muscles during functional exercises in participants with chronic ankle instability. BACKGROUND: Ankle destabilization devices are rehabilitation tools that can be worn as a boot or sandal to increase lower extremity muscle activation during walking in healthy individuals. However, they have not been tested in a population with pathology. METHODS: Fifteen adults with chronic ankle instability participated. Surface electromyography electrodes were located over the anterior tibialis, fibularis longus, lateral gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, biceps femoris, and gluteus medius. The activity level of these muscles was recorded in a single testing session during unipedal stance with eyes closed, the Star Excursion Balance Test, lateral hops, and treadmill walking. Each task was performed under 3 conditions: shod, ankle destabilization boot, and ankle destabilization sandal. Surface electromyography signal amplitudes were measured for each muscle during each exercise for all 3 conditions. RESULTS: Participants demonstrated a significant increase, with moderate to large effect sizes, in sEMG signal amplitude of the fibularis longus in the ankle destabilization boot and ankle destabilization sandal conditions during the unipedal eyes-closed balance test, the Star Excursion Balance Test in the anterior and posteromedial directions, lateral hops, and walking, when compared to the shod condition. Both devices also resulted in an increase in sEMG signal amplitudes, with large effect sizes of the lateral gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, biceps femoris, and gluteus medius during the unipedal-stance-with-eyes-closed test, compared to the shod condition. CONCLUSION: Wearing ankle destabilization devices caused greater muscle activation during functional exercises in individuals with chronic ankle instability. Based on the magnitude of the effect, there were consistent increases in fibularis longus sEMG amplitudes during the unipedal eyes-closed balance test, the Star Excursion Balance Test in the anterior and posteromedial directions, and pre-initial contact and post-initial contact during lateral hops and walking.
This article was published in J Orthop Sports Phys Ther
and referenced in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics