Evaluation of Circumferential Ankle Pressure as an Ergonomic Intervention to Maintain Balance Perturbed by Localized Muscular Fatigue of the Ankle Joint
Singh, Navrag B.
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Application of pressure in the form of taping and bracing has been shown to improve proprioception, and inducing localized muscle fatigue at various musculatures has been shown to adversely affect postural control. However, the potential for pressure application to mitigate the effects of localized muscle fatigue on postural control has not yet been determined. This study investigated specifically the effects of circumferential ankle pressure (CAP) and induced ankle fatigue on postural control. Fourteen young participants (seven males and seven females) performed fatiguing sub-maximal isotonic plantar flexion exercises on an isokinetic dynamometer, in the absence and presence of a pressure cuff (60 mm Hg) used to apply CAP. Proprioceptive acuity (PA) was determined using a passive-active joint position sense test, with categorical scores (low or high PA) used as a covariate. Postural sway during quiet standing was assessed using a force platform both pre- and post-fatigue as well as in the absence and presence of CAP. Application of CAP resulted in larger postural sway in individuals with low PA, and reduced postural sway in individuals with high PA. Fatigue effects on postural sway in individuals with low PA were more substantial as compared to individuals with high PA. CAP was found to be ineffective in mitigating the effects of fatigue on postural sway in individuals with lower PA. As a whole, the results suggest a potential for CAP as an ergonomic intervention in controlling fatigue-related fall incidents, though conclusive recommendations for use are not justified.
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