Individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) often have impairments in ankle range of motion (ROM) and balance. There is limited evidence that these impairments are related in individuals with CAI. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between ankle dorsiflexion ROM and dynamic balance in individuals with CAI.
Forty‐five participants (age=23.2±2.8 y, height=172.1±10.8 cm, mass=70.6±13.3 kg, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure Sport= 71.2±11.7, Modified Ankle Instability Instrument= 6.4±1.3) volunteered for this study. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM was measured in a weight‐bearing position while dynamic balance was measured using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) in the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between ankle dorsiflexion ROM and measures of dynamic balance.
There were fair positive correlations between dorsiflexion ROM and the anterior reach direction (r = .55, r2= .31, P < .001), posterolateral reach direction (r = .29, r2 = .09, P = .03), and the composite SEBT scores (r = .30, r2 = .09, P= .02). There was little or no relationship between ankle dorsiflexion and the posteromedial reach direction (r = .01, r2 = .001, P = .47).
Ankle dorsiflexion ROM can influence dynamic balance, specifically the anterior reach portion of the SEBT.
Individuals with CAI who demonstrate impairments in dorsiflexion ROM may also demonstrate difficulty with portions of the SEBT. Clinicians may use this information to better optimize rehabilitation programs that address ankle dorsiflexion ROM and dynamic balance.
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