The Effect of a Balance Training Program on the Risk of Ankle Sprains in High School Athletes

University of Wisconsin, Hospital and Clinics, Sports Medicine Center, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.36). 08/2006; 34(7):1103-11. DOI: 10.1177/0363546505284191
Source: PubMed


Ankle sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injuries that occur in athletes, and they have a profound impact on health care costs and resources.
A balance training program can reduce the risk of ankle sprains in high school athletes.
Randomized controlled clinical trial; Level of evidence, 1.
Seven hundred and sixty-five high school soccer and basketball players (523 girls and 242 boys) were randomly assigned to either an intervention group (27 teams, 373 subjects) that participated in a balance training program or to a control group (28 teams, 392 subjects) that performed only standard conditioning exercises. On-site athletic trainers recorded athlete exposures and sprains.
The rate of ankle sprains was significantly lower for subjects in the intervention group (6.1%, 1.13 of 1000 exposures vs 9.9%, 1.87 of 1000 exposures; P = .04). Athletes with a history of an ankle sprain had a 2-fold increased risk of sustaining a sprain (risk ratio, 2.14), whereas athletes who performed the intervention program decreased their risk of a sprain by one half (risk ratio, 0.56). The ankle sprain rate for athletes without previous sprains was 4.3% in the intervention group and 7.7% in the control group, but this difference was not significant (P = .059).
A balance training program will significantly reduce the risk of ankle sprains in high school soccer and basketball players.

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Available from: Timothy A. McGuine, Sep 28, 2015
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    • "It is possible that, due to the increasing impact and stresses of training and games/competitions at the End/Y, the athletes suffered general fatigue, which had a negative impact on their postural balance. Most previous data considered the association between a longitudinal balance training program and postural balance improvement among young athletes such as soccer and basketball players (Donath et al., 2013;Granacher et al., 2011;McGuine & Keene, 2006). The question of whether postural balance can be improved following regular fitness exercise programs is a contradictory. "
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    ABSTRACT: General fatigue can cause aggravation of postural balance, with increased risk for injuries. The present longitudinal study aimed to evaluate the postural balance of young athletes following field aerobic tests throughout 1 year of training. Thirty children from a sports center in Nazareth, participating in a 3 times/week training program (specific to basketball, soccer, or athletic training), were assessed. Postural balance parameters were taken before, immediately after, and 10 min after a 20 m shuttle-run aerobic test, at 3 time points during 1 training year (Start/Y, Mid/Y, and End/Y). Fitness improved at the Mid/Y and End/Y compared to Start/Y. Postural balance significantly deteriorated immediately after the aerobic test and improved significantly in the 10-min testing in all 3 time points, with significant deterioration in the End/Y compared with the Start/Y. In conclusions, postural balance deteriorates immediately after aerobic exercises, and at the end of the year. To better practice drills related to postural balance and possibly to prevent injuries, it is best for young athletes to properly rest immediately following aerobic exercises and to practice postural balance mainly at the beginning and at the middle of the training year.
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    • "Moreover, ankle injuries not only lead to a loss of participation in sport, but they also have a major impact on the health care system with nearly 1 million people in the United States estimated to attend emergency rooms and clinics due to ankle injuries every year (McGuine & Keene, 2006; Papadopoulos et al., 2005). Sports involving running, jumping and cutting movements have been reported to have the highest percentage of ankle injuries (McGuine & Keene, 2006; Papadopoulos et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle weakness is considered a risk factor for ankle injury. Balance training and barefoot running have been used in an attempt to strengthen the muscles crossing the ankle. It is expected that training tasks that successfully strengthen the ankle would elicit increased muscular activity. However, it is unknown how an individual's ankle strength will influence the muscle activity used during a given task. Twenty-six participants performed dynamic (shod, barefoot running) and static tasks (squat on ground, squat on ®Bosu Ball) believed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle. Electromyographic signals of the tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) were recorded and analysed using a non-linearly scaled wavelet analysis. Participants were divided into a strong group and a weak group according to their isometric plantar-flexion torque. The weak group required more relative GL and GM muscle activity during each training task compared to the strong group. No difference was observed between shod and barefoot running. There was a significant effect of training task on muscle activation level for the weak group. Differences in ankle strength had a significant impact on muscle activation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Sports Sciences
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    • "Previously, investigators have demonstrated that decreased balance performance is associated with increased risks for sports injuries (Hrysomallis, 2007; McGuine, Greene, Best, & Leverson, 2000; Paterno et al., 2010; Plisky, Rauh, Kaminski, & Underwood, 2006; Tropp, Ekstrand, & Gillquist, 1984). In addition, balance training has been shown to decrease the risk factors and rates of sports injuries (Hrysomallis, 2007; McGuine & Keene, 2006; Verhagen et al., 2004), and help to enhance sports performance (Hrysomallis, 2011). Understanding the contributing factors to balance performance in recreational athletes can provide implications on injury prevention and performance training. "
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