Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

18.10.2011
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."

For more information on the UGA department of kinesiology, see http://www.coe.uga.edu/kinesiology/.

Cathleen Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>