Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
Justin M Stanek
Context: Lateral ankle sprains are one of the most commonly occurring sport-related injuries. The somatosensory system is primarily responsible for monitoring the position of the joints in space during movement. This system functions by way of neurological structures that provide proprioceptive and neuromuscular input to the brain. Motor control of the lower extremity relies on proprioceptive input to the central nervous system (CNS) and local neuromuscular control of each joint to produce coordinated, global muscular responses to external events. Previous research has investigated links between proprioception and neuromuscular control in relationship to ankle inversion separately, but none have searched for a link between proprioception and the body’s neuromuscular response to ankle inversion. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate a potential relationship between proprioception and lower extremity muscle reaction time in response to an inversion perturbation in healthy individuals. Design: This study was a descriptive, cross-sectional study to assess for a correlation between proprioception and muscle activation in healthy individuals Participants: Participants were healthy, college-aged volunteers recruited by word of mouth at a Midwest university. Inclusion criteria for this study required that the individual had not had lower extremity surgery one year prior to participation, had not been diagnosed with chronic ankle instability by a healthcare professional, and had not had an ankle injury that required medical attention 6 months prior to participation. Intervention: The active joint position sense (AJPS) and passive joint position sense (PJPS) of the subject was recorded and muscle reactions during unexpected inversion perturbations were observed with electromyography. Main Outcome Measure: Pearson’s correlations were run between each muscle’s average reaction time and both the active and passive joint position sense measures individually. Results: Statistically significant positive relationships were found between the peroneus longus (PL) reaction times and PJPS at -30° (exact error- .49, p=.03) and AJPS at 5° (absolute error- .53, p=.04), and biceps femoris (BF) reaction times and PJPS at -30° (exact error- .75, p=.001, absolute error- .62, p=.01). Statistically significant negative relationships were found between the contralateral gluteus medius (CGMed) reaction times and PJPS at 5° (exact error- -.74, p=.001, absolute error- -.78, p=.01) and gluteus maximus (GM) reaction times and AJPS at 5° (exact error- -.63, p=.01, absolute error- -.54, p=.04). Conclusions: Reaction time results for the PL were in line with past literature that has looked at the activation of the PL during other inversion tasks and muscle spindle activation. Results of the BF and GM were found to back up evidence found regarding kinematic changes within the affected limb, potentially pointing to an unloading response of the affected limb. The significant finding of the CGMed could potentially have significant meaning, but due to the very small percentage of times the muscle reacted the significant value found was most likely due to chance.
Carroll, Erin M., "The Correlation between Ankle Proprioception and Lower Extremity Muscle Reactions in Response to Simulated Lateral Ankle Sprains" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 1358.