The effects of ankle protectors on lower limb kinematics in male football players: a comparison to braced and unbraced ankles

R. Graydon, D. Fewtrell, S. Atkins, J. Sinclair
2017 Comparative Exercise Physiology: The International Journal of Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Nutrition  
23 Football (Soccer) players have a high risk of injuring the lower extremities. To reduce the risk 24 of ankle inversion injuries ankle braces can be worn. To reduce the risk of ankle contusion 25 injuries ankle protectors can be utilized. However, athletes can only wear one of these devices 26 at a time. The effects of ankle braces on stance limb kinematics has been extensively 27 researched, however ankle protectors have had little attention. Therefore, the current study 28 aimed to
more » ... te the effects of ankle protectors on lower extremity kinematics during the 29 stance phase of jogging and compare them with braced and uncovered ankles. Twelve male 30 participants ran at 3.4 m.s -1 in three test conditions; ankle braces (BRACE), ankle protectors 31 (PROTECTOR) and with uncovered ankles (WITHOUT). Stance phase kinematics were 32 collected using an eight-camera motion capture system. Kinematic data between conditions 33 were analysed using one-way repeated measures ANOVA. The results showed that BRACE 34 (absolute range of motion (ROM) =10.72° & relative ROM =10.26°) significantly (P<0.05) 35 restricted the ankle in the coronal plane when compared to PROTECTOR (absolute ROM 36 =13.44° & relative ROM =12.82°) and WITHOUT (absolute ROM =13.64° & relative ROM 37 =13.10°). It was also found that both BRACE (peak dorsiflexion =17.02° & absolute ROM 38 =38.34°) and PROTECTOR (peak dorsiflexion =18.46° & absolute ROM =40.15°) 39 significantly (P<0.05) reduced sagittal plane motion when compared to WITHOUT (peak 40 dorsiflexion =19.20° & absolute ROM =42.66°). Ankle protectors' effects on lower limb 41 kinematics closely resemble that of an unbraced ankle. Therefore, ankle protectors should only 42 be used as a means to reduce risk of ankle contusion injuries and not implemented as a method 43 to reduce the risk of ankle inversion injuries. Furthermore, the reductions found in sagittal plane 44 motion of the ankle could possibly increase the bodies energy demand needed for locomotion 45 when ankle protectors are utilised. 46 47 consequences of reduced ankle plantar-flexion in human walking. Journal of Experimental 326 Biology, Volume 218, pp. 3541-3550. 327 Janssen, K. W., Mechelen, W. V. & Verhagen, E. A. L. M., 2014. Bracing superior to 328 neuromuscular training for the prevention of self-reported recurrent ankle sprains: a three-arm 329 randomised controlled trial.
doi:10.3920/cep160031 fatcat:fcu2ja25j5d3zoeimxxwtk7wga