The immediate effects of an anterior-to-posterior talar mobilization on neural excitability, dorsiflexion range of motion, and dynamic balance in patients with chronic ankle instability
Changes in neuromuscular control and reduced ankle dorsiflexion range-of-motion (ROM) are common clinical findings in patients presenting with chronic ankle instability (CAI). While it is has been established that joint mobilisations are an effective method for re-establishing dorsiflexion ROM and dynamic postural control, its effects on changing neuromuscular excitability in the surrounding muscles of the ankle is unknown. The objective of the current study was to investigate the immediate effects of a Maitland grade III anterior-to-posterior joint mobilisation on corticospinal excitability and spinal reflexes in patients with CAI.
Thirty patients with CAI were randomised into a mobilisation (n=15) and control (n=15) group. Apart from an increase in dorsiflexion ROM immediately post-treatment in the intervention group, no changes were observed in spinal reflex, corticospinal excitability, or dynamic postural control in either group.
Despite no change in excitability of spinal reflex and corticospinal pathways, the current study only utilised a single treatment session with an immediate short-term follow-up. Future studies with a greater dosage of treatment and longer-term follow-ups are required. > From: Harkey et al., J Sport Rehabil (2014) (Epub ahead of print).
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