Lower-Extremity Motor Synergies in Individuals With and Without Chronic Ankle Instability

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Illinois State University
  • 2 Medical University of South Carolina
  • 3 Auburn University
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Current theoretical models suggest that ankle sprain copers exhibit movement adaptations contributing to the avoidance of chronic ankle instability. However, few studies have examined adaptations at the level of biomechanical motor synergies. The purpose was to examine characteristics of the support moment synergy between individuals with chronic ankle instability, copers, and healthy individuals. A total of 48 individuals participated in the study. Lower-extremity kinetics and variability in the moment of force patterns were assessed during the stance phase of walking trials. The copers exhibited reductions in the support moment during the load response and preswing phase compared with the chronic ankle instability group, as well as during the terminal stance and preswing phase compared the healthy group. The copers also exhibited reductions in the hip extensor moment and ankle plantarflexion moment compared with healthy and chronic ankle instability groups during intervals of stance phase. Variability of the support moment and knee moment was greater in the copers compared with the chronic ankle instability group. Dampening of the support moment and select joint moments exhibited by the copers may indicate an adaptive mechanism to mitigate loading perturbations on the previously injured ankle. Heightened motor variability in copers may be indicative of a more adaptable motor synergy compared with individuals with chronic ankle instability.

Jagodinsky is with the School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA. Angles is with the Physical Therapy Program, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. Wilburn and Weimar are with the School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA.

Jagodinsky (aejagod@ilstu.edu) is corresponding author.
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