Neuromuscular Control Training Does Not Improve Gait Biomechanics in Those With Chronic Ankle Instability: A Critically Appraised Topic

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Kimmery Migel PT, DPT, * , 1 and Erik Wikstrom PhD, ATC, LAT * , 1
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  • 1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Introduction/Clinical Scenario: Ankle sprains are highly common within the population and can lead to chronic ankle instability (CAI). Individuals with CAI have both functional and mechanical impairments, which are thought to contribute to maladaptive gait biomechanics. Neuromuscular control and balance training are frequently incorporated into rehabilitation programs, however the effect of balance training on gait biomechanics remains unknown. Focused Clinical Question: Does balance or neuromuscular training improve gait biomechanics in individuals with CAI? Summary of Key Findings: Three studies assessed 4–6 weeks of progressive neuromuscular control training and found no improvements in gait biomechanics. One study found a worsening of eversion position at midstance upon program completion. However, when training was augmented with destabilizing shoes, improvements in dorsiflexion were noted. Clinical Bottom Line: Cumulative findings suggest that neuromuscular control training does not improve gait biomechanics in those with CAI. However, augmentation of programs may be beneficial. Strength of Recommendation: There is high-quality evidence(Grade B) that balance training does not alter gait biomechanics in patients with CAI.

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

Migel (kmigel@live.unc.edu) is corresponding author.
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