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Introduction: There is little research available on the effects of peripheral joint manipulation. Only a few studies have examined the effect of manipulation on ankle range of motion, with conflicting results. This study aimed to determine whether a single high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust manipulation to the talo-crural joint altered ankle range of motion in subjects with a history of lateral ligament sprain.
Methods: Male and female volunteers (N=52) with a history of lateral ligament sprain were randomly assigned into either an experimental group (n=26) or a control group (n=26). Those in the experimental group received a single HVLA thrust to the talo-crural joint, whilst those in the control group received no treatment intervention. Pre-test and post-test measurements of passive dorsiflexion range of motion were taken.
Results: No significant changes in dorsiflexion range of motion were detected between manipulated ankles and those of control subjects using dependent and independent t-tests. Ankles that cavitated displayed a greater mean DFR and large effect size (d=0.8) compared to those that did not gap and cavitate, but analysis with ANOVA revealed these differences to be not significant.
Conclusion: HVLA manipulation of the ankle did not increase dorsiflexion range of motion in subjects with a history of lateral ligament sprain.