Teaching ankle sprainers to move
This project will test a novel functional training program for the prevention of recurrent ankle sprain.
Current interventions to prevent ankle sprain are based on the assumption that proprioception and balance are impaired. Interventions therefore include wobble board training, and exercises to improve strength and increase stability in order to keep the ankle still during challenges to balance. In our recent work examining sensorimotor control in elite dancers, we found a surprising deficit in a balance task among those with recurrent sprain: in the balance tasks, the sprainers moved significantly less at the ankle than dancers with healthy ankles. This finding challenges the idea that if sprainers are trained to increase stability and be more still, they are less likely to re-sprain. To the contrary, our data suggest that a person may actually need to be trained to increase mobility with improved motor control. We have designed a novel training program to prevent recurrence of ankle sprains. This new program represents a fundamental shift in thinking from current approaches to prevention, all of which train stability and the need to hold the ankle still, to essentially the opposite approach, that of training the sprainer to control movement to the extremes of range. The proposed project will be a cluster-randomised controlled trial comparing our novel intervention with a more traditional intervention (wobble-board training). Participants will be followed up for 12 months to determine the number of ankle sprains. Interested students could include those with experience in the following: exercise science, human movement, physiotherapy, podiatry and medicine. The Foot and Ankle Research group is a multi-disciplinary research team that is conducting a series of research projects available to postgraduate students interested in understanding musculoskeletal injury. The particular focus of these studies is the assessment and treatment of ankle injuries, the underlying physiology and/or biomechanics of associated problems, and the prevention of ongoing disability.
Possible PhD Topics:
- Investigating the effect of novel interventions on preventing re-sprain.
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Sports injury, Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Ankle sprain, Functional ankle instability, Neuromuscular control, Motor control, Musculoskeletal, Disability, Counselling & patient support, Movement disorders, Human body, Movement, Professional practice
The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 76
Other opportunities with Professor Kathryn Refshauge
- Predicting chronic ankle disability
- other research opportunities available at Faculty of Health Sciences
- Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of low back pain
- New insights into the low back pain problems: opportunities for doctoral studies
- Investigation of the lifestyle factors associated with low back pain, factors that determine a positive alliance between patients and therapists and motion analysis and muscle recruitment in low back pain.