Effects of Textured Balance Board Training in Adolescent Ballet Dancers With Ankle Pathology

Nili Steinberg, Roger Adams, Oren Tirosh, Janet Karin, Gordon Waddington

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    CONTEXT: Ankle sprains are common among adolescent ballet dancers and may be attributed to inadequate ankle proprioception. Thus, a short period of training utilizing proprioceptive activities requires evaluation. OBJECTIVE: To assess training conducted for 3 or 6 weeks on a textured-surface balance board using ankle proprioception scores for ballet dancers with and without chronic ankle instability, and with and without previous ankle sprain (PAS). DESIGN: Intervention study. SETTING: The Australian Ballet School. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-two ballet dancers, aged 14-18 years. INTERVENTIONS: Dancers randomized into 2 groups: group 1 undertook 1 minute of balance board training daily for 3 weeks; group 2 undertook the same training for 6 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Preintervention, Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool questionnaire data were collected, and PAS during the last 2 years was reported. Active ankle inversion movement discrimination ability was tested immediately pre and post intervention and at 3 and 4 weeks. RESULTS: Ankle discrimination acuity scores improved over time for both groups, with a performance decline associated with the early cessation of training for group 1 (P = .04). While dancers with PAS had significantly worse scores at the first test, before balance board training began (P < .01), no significant differences in scores at any test occasion were found between dancers with and without chronic ankle instability. A significantly faster rate of improvement in ankle discrimination ability score over the 4 test occasions was found for dancers with PAS (P = .002). CONCLUSIONS: Three weeks of textured balance board training improved the ankle discrimination ability of ballet dancers regardless of their reported level of chronic ankle instability and at a faster rate for dancers with PAS. Previous ankle sprain was associated with a lower level of ankle discrimination ability; however, following 3 weeks of balance board training, previously injured dancers had significantly improved their ankle discrimination acuity scores.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)584-592
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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