The Immediate Effects of Ankle Joint Mobilization on Ankle Musculotendinous Stiffness in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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  • 1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Ankle joint mobilization has been shown to be effective at improving outcomes in those with chronic ankle instability (CAI), but the neuromuscular mechanisms are still unknown. We aimed to determine the immediate effect of a single Grade III anterior-to-posterior ankle joint mobilization bout on ankle musculotendinous stiffness (MTS) in those with CAI. Seventeen CAI participants had plantar flexor and fibularis MTS assessed before and after a 5-min joint mobilization treatment. MTS outcomes were estimated using the damped oscillation method. Fibularis (0.25 ± 0.41 N/m/kg, p = .028) but not plantar flexor MTS (−2.18 ± 14.35 N/m/kg, p = .539) changed following mobilization and exceeded the calculated minimal detectable change score (0.12 N/m/kg). Increased fibularis MTS may represent a neuromuscular mechanism by which ankle joint mobilizations improve postural control in those with CAI.

The authors are with the MOTION Science Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Song (ktsong@email.unc.edu) is corresponding author.
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