Bracing superior to neuromuscular training for the prevention of self-reported recurrent ankle sprains: a three-arm randomised controlled trial.
The burden of the most common sports-related injury – ankle sprains – is large, due to both the associated individual and societal costs. This is further reiterated due to the high rate of recurrence, which has inevitably led researchers to investigate more efficacy methods of comprehensive rehabilitation. The aim of the current study was to specifically investigate the effectiveness of neuromuscular training and bracing and their subsequent role in the prevention of secondary ankle sprains.
Participants who had previously sustained a lateral ankle sprain were divided into one of three groups – training, bracing, or combined group. The training group underwent an 8-week home-based neuromuscular training program, whilst the bracing group wore a semirigid ankle brace during all sporting activities for 12-months.
Only 20% of participants reported a recurrent ankle sprain at the 1-year follow-up. Further analysis revealed that 27%, 15%, and 19% occurred in the training, bracing, and combined group respectively. However, despite the obvious advantage offered by bracing over training in terms of incidence, no difference was observed between the groups regarding self-reported severity of recurrent ankle sprains. > From: Janssen et al., Br J Sports Med (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.