Effects of limb dominance and ankle bracing on lateral peak impact forces and performance measures..

by Hawkey A., Lahart I., and Nevill A.
Wednesday 01st February 2012 - Article 2

Ankle injuries are frequently suffered by basketball players. While ankle bracing has been reported to reduce injury incidence, research is limited regarding lateral peak impact forces (LPIF) and limb dominance. There is also equivocal evidence of ankle bracing’s effect on basketball-specific performance. Eight male national league basketball players (n=8) performed 45o cutting manoeuvres, at 4.5m/s to 5.5m/s, past a static defensive opponent on dominant and non-dominant sides; both braced (Aircast Airsport) and un-braced. A further 10 players (n=18; mean + SD, age = 20 + 6 yrs; weight = 720 + 161 N; height = 1.83 + 0.17 m), performed basketball-specific performance tests (20m sprint, agility, and vertical jump tests) in both braced and un-braced conditions. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures revealed significant differences (P = 0.001) between LPIF on dominant (Mean = 639.46 N, SE = 20.6 N) and non-dominant limbs (Mean = 728.96 N, SE = 17.6 N). ANOVA also revealed significant differences (P = 0.005) between LPIF in braced (Mean = 658.15 N, SE = 17.4 N) and un-braced conditions (Mean = 710.27 N, SE = 19 N). Paired-sample T-test reported no significant difference (P = 0.6) in 20m Sprint times with (Mean = 3.22 s, SE = 0.03 s) and without bracing (Mean = 3.23 s, SE = 0.03 s). No significant difference (P = 0.78) was reported in Agility performance with (Mean = 20.46 s, SE = 2.4 s) and without bracing (Mean = 20.51 s, SE = 2.48 s). No significant difference (P = 0.28) was reported in Jump performance braced (Mean = 0.62 m, SE = 0.002 m) and un-braced (Mean = 0.61 m, SE = 0.002 m). Current study suggests using a semi-rigid ankle brace reduces LPIF to the ankle-foot complex, potentially limiting ankle injury without impairing basketball-specific performance.

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