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Troy Blackburn, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Meredith A. Petschauer and William E. Prentice

Objectives:

To determine whether proprioception or muscular strength is the dominant factor in balance and joint stability and define what type of ankle rehabilitation is most effective for these purposes.

Setting:

The University of North Carolina Sports Medicine Research Laboratory.

Subjects:

Thirty-two healthy volunteers free of head injury, dominant leg injury, and vestibular deficits.

Design:

Subjects were divided into control, strength-training, proprioceptive-training, and strength-proprioception combination training groups. Balance was assessed before and after 6-week training programs.

Measurements:

Static, semidynamic, and dynamic balance were assessed.

Results:

Subjects showed no improvement for static balance but improved significantly for semidynamic (P = .038) and dynamic (P = .002) balance. No significant differences were observed between groups.

Conclusions:

Enhancement of proprioception and muscular strength are equally effective in promoting joint stability and balance maintenance. In addition, no 1 type of training program is superior to another for these purposes.