Balance and Proprioceptive Training for Rehabilitation of the Lower Extremity

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Recently there has been emphasis on including balance and proprioceptive training in the rehabilitation of sports-related lower extremity injuries. It is believed that injury to joint and musculotendinous structures results in altered somatosensory information that adversely affects motor control. This may result in increased risk for recurrent injury, decreased performance, or both. Balance and proprioceptive training have been advocated to restore motor control to the lower extremity. This paper will review the current scientific rationale for use of balance and proprioceptive training in the rehabilitation of sports-related lower extremity injuries. Additionally, guidelines for training to improve balance and proprioception will be discussed.

James J. Irrgang is with the Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Susan L. Whitney is with the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Emily D. Cox is with the Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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