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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Ankle dorsiflexion range of motion influences dynamic balance in individuals with chronic ankle instability.

Authors:  Basnett CR, Hanish MJ, Wheeler TJ, Miriovsky DJ, Danielson EL, Barr JB, Grindstaff T

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. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM, measured in a weight-bearing position, and  dynamic balance, measured using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) in the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions, were measured in 45 subjects. Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between ankle dorsiflexion ROM and measures of dynamic balance. It would appear that 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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