The aim of this study was to examine the effects of joint mobilization and exercise training on neuromuscular performance in individuals with functional ankle instability (FAI).
This was a cross-sectional study involving forty five subjects with FAI. They were randomized into three groups: control (CG, n = 15, 27.9 ± 6.6yr), training (TG, n = 15, 26.9 ± 5.8yr) and mobilization with training group (MTG, n = 15, 26.5 ± 4.8yr). The intervention was four weeks of neuromuscular training for TG; neuromuscular training and joint mobilization for MTG. Electromyography of the peroneus longus (PL), tibialis anterior (TA), and soleus (SOL) and the reaching distance of the Y balance test (YBT), dorsiflexion range of motion (DFROM), Cumberland ankle instability tool (CAIT), and global rating scale (GRS) were the outcome measures. Two-way repeated measures MANOVA were used with the significance level p < .05.
MANOVA found significant group by time interactions on posterolateral reaching distance (p = .032), PL activation (p = .006-.03), DFROM (p < .001), CAIT (p < .001) and GRS (p < .001). The post hoc tests indicated significantly improved PL muscle activity and posterolateral reaching distance for MTG compared to TG (p = .004) and CG (p = .006).
Joint mobilization resulted in additional benefits on self-reported ankle instability severity, dorsiflexion mobility, and posterolateral balance performance in individuals with FAI, but its effects on general improvement, muscle activation, and other balance tasks remained uncertain.