This study sought to compare the effect of two manual therapy techniques, mobilization with movement (WB-MWM) and talocrural manipulation (HVLA), for the improvement of ankle dorsiflexion in people with chronic ankle instability (CAI) over 48 hours. Fifty-two participants (mean±SD age, 20.7±3.4 years) with CAI were randomized to WB-MWM (n=18), HVLA (n=19) or placebo group (n=15). Weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion measured with the weight-bearing lunge. Measurements were obtained before intervention, immediately following intervention, and 10min, 24h and 48h post-intervention. There was a significant effect×time (F4,192=20.65; P<0.001) and a significant time×group interactions (F8,192=6.34; P<0.001). Post hoc analysis showed a significant increase of ankle dorsiflexion in both WB-MWM and HVLA groups with respect to the placebo group with no differences between both active treatment groups.
A single application of WB-MWM or HVLA manual technique improves ankle dorsiflexion in people with CAI, and the effects persist for at least two days. Both techniques have similar effectiveness for improving ankle dorsiflexion although WB-MWM exhibited greater effect sizes.