Effects of a 4-Week Dynamic-Balance-Training Program Supplemented With Graston Instrument-Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization for Chronic Ankle Instability

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

A dynamic-balance-training (DBT) program supplemented with the Graston instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (GISTM) technique has not been evaluated collectively as a treatment in subjects with chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Objective:

To examine the effects of GISTM in conjunction with a DBT program on outcomes associated with CAI, including pain and disability, range of motion (ROM), and dynamic postural control.

Design:

Pretest/posttest, repeated measures.

Setting:

High school and a Division I mid-Atlantic university.

Participants:

Thirty-six healthy, physically active individuals (5 female, 31 male; age 17.7 ± 1.9 y; height 175.3 ± 14.6 cm) with a history of CAI as determined by an ankle-instability questionnaire volunteered to be in this study.

Interventions:

Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 intervention groups: both treatments (DBT/GISTM, n = 13), DBT and a sham GISTM treatment (DBT/GISTM-S, n = 12), or DBT and control—no GISTM (DBT/C, n = 11). All groups participated in a 4-wk DBT program consisting of low-impact and dynamic activities that was progressed from week to week. The DBT/GISTM and DBT/GISTM-S groups received the GISTM treatment or sham treatment twice a week for 8 min before performing the DBT program. Pretest and posttest measurements included the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), FAAM Sport, the visual analog scale (VAS), ankle ROM in 4 directions, and the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) in 3 directions.

Main Outcome Measures:

FAAM and FAAM-Sport scores, VAS, goniometric ROM (plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, eversion), and SEBT (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral).

Results:

Subjects in all groups posttest demonstrated an increase in FAAM, FAAM Sport, ROM, and SEBT in all directions but not in VAS, which decreased. No other results were significant.

Conclusion:

For subjects with CAI, dynamic postural control, ROM, pain and disability improved pretest to posttest regardless of group membership, with the largest effects found in most measures in the DBT/GISTM group.

Schaefer is with the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute/University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. Sandrey is with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

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