Proprioceptive training for prevention of Ankle Sprains

Can exercises that improve balance and body awareness help prevent ankle sprains in athletes?

Ankle sprains are common injuries among athletes. People who are physically active and engage in sports involving jumping, sudden changes in direction, and pivoting are more likely to sprain their ankles. After an initial ankle sprain, the joint becomes weaker and more prone to future injuries. These repeated injuries can lead to long-term problems, causing people to miss out on activities and face financial burdens. Preventive measures are crucial to reduce these risks.

Proprioception refers to the body’s ability to sense its position and movement. Proprioceptive training for the ankle involves exercises that challenge balance and coordination. For example, standing on one leg with your eyes closed or using special equipment like wobble boards can improve proprioception and help protect against ankle injuries.

Different studies have looked at various types of proprioceptive training programs, but they varied in duration, frequency, and intensity. Some programs lasted for a few weeks, while others lasted for an entire sports season. The exercises ranged from simple balancing tasks to more challenging activities using specialized equipment. While longer programs may be more effective, even shorter programs with basic exercises have shown benefits.

Patient compliance with these programs is important for their success. Studies have shown that when patients stick to their exercises, they’re less likely to get injured again. However, compliance rates can vary, affecting the overall effectiveness of the training.

In summary, proprioceptive training can help reduce the risk of ankle sprains in athletes. However, the specifics of the training program may vary, so it’s essential for clinicians to consider factors like time, equipment, and patient commitment when designing a program. Overall, proprioceptive training is a cost-effective and beneficial intervention for athletes recovering from ankle sprains and aiming to prevent future injuries.

 

Conclusion

Proprioceptive training programs were successful in lowering the occurrence of ankle sprains among athletes, both for those with and without a history of ankle injuries.

A seasoned orthopedic surgeon and foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Mohammad Athar welcomes patients at the offices of Complete Orthopedics in Queens / Long Island. Fellowship trained in both hip and knee reconstruction, Dr. Athar has extensive expertise in both total hip replacements and total knee replacements for arthritis of the hip and knee, respectively. As an orthopedic surgeon, he also performs surgery to treat meniscal tears, cartilage injuries, and fractures. He is certified for robotics assisted hip and knee replacements, and well versed in cutting-edge cartilage replacement techniques.
In addition, Dr. Athar is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle specialist, which has allowed him to accrue a vast experience in foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, new cartilage replacement techniques, and minimally invasive foot surgery. In this role, he performs surgery to treat ankle arthritis, foot deformity, bunions, diabetic foot complications, toe deformity, and fractures of the lower extremities. Dr. Athar is adept at non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in the upper and lower extremities such as braces, medication, orthotics, or injections to treat the above-mentioned conditions.