Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key to avoiding ankle re-injury may be in the hips and knees

Date:
November 1, 2011
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Nearly all active people suffer ankle sprains at some point in their lives, and a new study suggests that the different ways people move their hip and knee joints may influence the risk of re-injury.

Nearly all active people suffer ankle sprains at some point in their lives, and a new University of Georgia study suggests that the different ways people move their hip and knee joints may influence the risk of re-injury.

In the past, sports medicine therapists prescribed strengthening and stretching exercises that targeted only ankle joints after a sprain. The study by UGA kinesiology researchers, published in the early online edition of the journal Clinical Biomechanics, suggests that movements at the knee and hip joints may play a role in ankle sprains as well.

"If you have ankle sprains, you may have a problem with the way you move, and we think we can change movement through rehabilitation," said Cathleen Brown, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the department of kinesiology in the College of Education.

Past studies on ankle sprains have shown that some people are able to return to sports or physical activities without a problem. Brown and her team, which includes associate professor Kathy J. Simpson, also in the kinesiology department, want to know why some recover completely.

"One theory for explaining those divergent paths is that a person comes up with good strategies to move, land, balance and not get re-injured," Brown said.

For the study, 88 participants were divided into three groups: an uninjured control group, active people who still experienced problems after an ankle sprain and "copers," or people who had been injured but no longer felt pain or weakness in their ankle. Participants dressed in an Avatar-like body suit that sent data to cameras and computers detailing the exact position of ankle, knee and hip joints. Each person stood 27.5 inches away from an in-ground metal platform and jumped to reach a target, then landed on one foot without assistance.

Of the three groups, the uninjured group bent their knees and swayed their hips side-to-side more often than either of the other groups. However, the "copers" also showed differences in those joint movements. The injured group with lingering ankle pain appeared unable to use their knee and hip joints as well when landing on the metal surface.

"Maybe the injured people don't use the same landing strategies, or their strategies aren't as effective," Brown said, adding that the study was a snapshot in time, not a long-term follow-up. By the time subjects were included in the research study, they have usually already injured themselves. "We don't know if they are this way because of the injury, or if they got this injury because they land this way."

The current study looked at the knees, hips and ankles in isolation, and the next step for the team will be to examine the joints in combination. If future studies allow the researchers to identify particular movement patterns as helpful, the research could be directly translated into new techniques for rehabilitation therapists and the public in general.

Brown said the current study builds on a similar study published in June 2011 that examined ankle injuries based on the amount of clearance between the foot and the ground. In that study, she found that participants with previous ankle injuries kept their feet closer to the ground, with their toes pointing downward, while running.

"I always try to encourage people who are having a lot of problems with their ankle to see a health care professional who would be able to help them," she said. "There are negative long-term consequences to ankle instability, such as ankle osteoarthritis, that may be preventable with treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cathleen Brown, Bradley Bowser, Kathy J. Simpson. Movement variability during single leg jump landings in individuals with and without chronic ankle instability. Clinical Biomechanics, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2011.07.012

Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Key to avoiding ankle re-injury may be in the hips and knees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017111604.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2011, November 1). Key to avoiding ankle re-injury may be in the hips and knees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017111604.htm
University of Georgia. "Key to avoiding ankle re-injury may be in the hips and knees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111017111604.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins