Clinical Scenario: Patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) demonstrate deficits in both sensory and motor function, which can be objectively evaluated through static postural control testing. One intervention that has been suggested to improve somatosensation and, in turn, static postural control is plantar massage. Clinical Question: Does plantar massage improve static postural control during single-limb stance in patients with CAI relative to baseline? Summary of Key Findings: A search was performed for articles exploring the effect of plantar massage on static postural control in individuals with CAI. Three articles were included in this critically appraised topic including 1 randomized controlled trial and 2 crossover studies. All studies supported the use of plantar massage to improve static postural control in patients with CAI. Clinical Bottom Line: There is currently good-quality and consistent evidence that supports the use of plantar massage as an intervention that targets the somatosensory system to improve static postural control in patients with CAI. Future research should focus on incorporating plantar massage as a treatment intervention during long-term rehabilitation protocols for individuals with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: In agreement with the Center of Evidence-Based Medicine, the consistent results from 2 crossover studies and 1 randomized controlled trial designate that there is level B evidence due to consistent, moderate- to high-quality evidence.
Katherine L. Helly, Katherine A. Bain, Phillip A. Gribble, and Matthew C. Hoch
Katherine L. Helly, Katherine A. Bain, Matthew C. Hoch, Nicholas R. Heebner, Phillip A. Gribble, Masafumi Terada, and Kyle B. Kosik
Context: Static postural control deficits are commonly documented among individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). Evidence suggests individuals with CAI who seek medical attention after an ankle sprain report fewer subjective symptoms. It is unknown if seeking medical attention and receiving supervised physical rehabilitation has a similar effect on objective outcomes, such as static postural control. Objective: To compare measures of single-limb postural control and center of pressure (COP) location between participants with CAI who did or did not self-report attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of their first lateral ankle sprain. Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): Twenty-nine participants with CAI who did (n = 14) or did not (n = 15) self-report attending supervised rehabilitation. Intervention(s): Self-reported attendance or not of supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury. Main Outcome Measures: Participants performed three 20-second trials of single-limb stance on a force plate with eyes open. Main outcome measures included the COP velocities, time-to-boundary (TTB) absolute minima, mean of TTB minima, and SD of TTB minima in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions. The spatial distribution of the COP data points under the foot was quantified within 4 equally proportional sections labeled anteromedial, anterolateral, posteromedial, and posterolateral. Results: Participants who reported attending supervised rehabilitation after their initial ankle sprain had a lower COP velocity in the anterior–posterior direction (P = .030), and higher TTB anterior–posterior absolute minimum (P = .033) and mean minima (P = .050) compared with those who did not attend supervised rehabilitation. Conclusions: Among individuals with CAI, not attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury may lead to worse static postural control outcomes. Clinicians should continue advocating for patients recovering from an acute ankle sprain to seek medical attention and provide continued care in the form of physical rehabilitation.