To date studies have indicated that an ankle brace not only provides mechanical support, but also has a positive influence on ankle joint proprioception. However, it is still unclear whether this finding is correct, especially in professional soccer players. The aim of this work therefore, was to determine whether an Aircast Sports Stirrup ankle brace would influence ankle joint proprioception of the professional soccer player. Twelve male professional soccer players with no history of recent ankle injury participated in this study. A Biodex Stability System was used to test a players' balance on their dominant leg with and without a brace attached. Each subject was tested three times for each condition in a random fashion, so that a mean Stability Index (SI) could be electronically generated. The more difficulty a subject had in balancing the Biodex tilt platform the larger was the numerical score on the index. The results revealed that bracing had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on ankle joint proprioception indicated by the mean balance index, of the professional soccer player. This result casts doubt on previous literature on this topic and indicates that further study of the effect of bracing is needed.
- Ankle brace