Ankle Balance Training

"Prehab with Ankle disc training" It has been shown that postural control deficits are a huge risk factor for lateral ankle sprain (McGuine et al. 2000). How do we improve this? By improving neuromuscular control/proprioception! PROPRIOCEPTION is a form of kinesthetic awareness whereby you know and understand where your body is placed in 3-dimensional space. Often times I see people focus excessively on improving mobility in their ankles with thoughts that it will decrease their risk for injury. However, mobility without adequate stability will lead you down a painful road. Ankle disk training will IMPROVE your joint’s ability to detect where you are in space and improve reaction time, which will translate into improved postural STABILITY by correcting excessive ankle motion. It is imperative to correct excessive motion because it may lead to excessive reliance on passive structures, such as ligaments, for stability, which could lead to a sprain. Stabilizing the ankle joint will strengthen your body’s natural intrinsic brace, engaging and utilizing your own muscles. There is some evidence out there that suggests new shoes, bracing, and taping will help prevent ankle injuries. However, Neuromuscular/proprioceptive/balance training has been shown to be MOST effective in preventing ankle injuries. Here I demonstrate using the ankle disc in order of difficulty: -First both feet are on the ankle disc. -Then I progress to balancing on the disc with one foot at a time. -Next I balance with both feet on the disc as I use a medicine ball to challenge my balance -I then progress to unilateral stability using the medicine ball -To challenge yourself even more you can toss the medicine ball from one side to the other. The goal of balance training is to develop proprioception/neuromuscular control so that your ankle will improve its muscle reflex activation, leading to more control and protection! Citation: “The effect of ankle disk training on muscle reaction time in subject with a history of ankle sprain” by: Osborne et al. “epidemiology of lower extremity injuries among U.S high school athletes” By: Fernandez et al.
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