Eccentric Training Improves Ankle Evertor and Dorsiflexor Strength and Proprioception in Functionally Unstable Ankles

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a combined eccentric-concentric exercise program of the ankle evertors and dorsiflexors on proprioception in functionally unstable ankles.

Design

Thirteen male recreational athletes with unilateral functional ankle instability were admitted to this study. The unaffected opposite ankles were used as controls. The functionnaly unstable ankle of the subjects performed an isokinetic exercise program of the ankle evertors and dorsiflexors in a combined eccentric-concentric mode for 3 days per week for 6 wks. Before and after the isokinetic exercise program, active and passive joint position sense and kinesthesia and isokinetic strength of the ankle joint were evaluated.

Results

Active and passive joint position sense error scores for inversion (P < 0.01–0.001) and plantarflexion (P < 0.05–0.001) direction and kinesthesia scores for inversion (P < 0.001) and plantarlexion (P < 0.01) direction showed significant reductions after 6 wks of intervention in the functionnaly unstable ankle. In addition, eccentric peak torques for the ankle evertor and dorsiflexors represented significant (P < 0.001) increases in the functionnaly unstable ankle compared with the control ankle.

Conclusions

The results of this study suggest that it is possible to improve proprioceptive acuity of the ankle joint after a 6-wk eccentric-concentric isokinetic training program in functionally unstable ankles.

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