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To examine the effects of ankle-strengthening exercises on joint position sense and strength development in subjects with functionally unstable ankles.
Subjects were randomly assigned to a training or control group. The training group participated in a 6-week strength-training protocol using rubber tubing 3 times a week throughout the training period. The control group did not participate in the strength-training protocol.
Twenty healthy college students (10 females, 10 males, age = 20.6 ± 2.23 years; ht = 176.40 ± 7.14 cm; wt = 74.18 ± 10.17 kg) with a history of functional ankle instability volunteered to participate in this study.
We pretested and posttested dorsiflexor and evertor isometric strength with a handheld dynamometer and collected joint position sense (JPS) data at 20° for inversion and plantar flexion and at 10° for eversion and dorsiflexion.
Statistical tests for strength and JPS revealed significant group-by-time interactions for dorsiflexion strength, eversion strength, inversion JPS, and plantar flexion JPS. Simple main-effects testing revealed improvements in training group strength and JPS at posttesting. There were no significant effects for eversion JPS, but the group main effect for dorsiflexion JPS was significant, with the experimental group having better scores than the control group.
Ankle-strengthening exercises improved strength, inversion JPS, dorsiflexion JPS, and plantar flexion JPS in subjects with functionally unstable ankles.