The effect of a proprioceptive balance board training program for the prevention of ankle sprains: a prospective controlled trial

Am J Sports Med. 2004 Sep;32(6):1385-93. doi: 10.1177/0363546503262177. Epub 2004 Jul 20.


Background: Ankle sprains are the most common injuries in a variety of sports.

Hypothesis: A proprioceptive balance board program is effective for prevention of ankle sprains in volleyball players.

Study design: Prospective controlled study.

Methods: There were 116 male and female volleyball teams followed prospectively during the 2001-2002 season. Teams were randomized by 4 geographical regions to an intervention group (66 teams, 641 players) and control group (50 teams, 486 players). Intervention teams followed a prescribed balance board training program; control teams followed their normal training routine. The coaches recorded exposure on a weekly basis for each player. Injuries were registered by the players within 1 week after onset.

Results: Significantly fewer ankle sprains in the intervention group were found compared to the control group (risk difference = 0.4/1000 playing hours; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-0.7). A significant reduction in ankle sprain risk was found only for players with a history of ankle sprains. The incidence of overuse knee injuries for players with history of knee injury was increased in the intervention group. History of knee injury may be a contraindication for proprioceptive balance board training.

Conclusions: Use of proprioceptive balance board program is effective for prevention of ankle sprain recurrences.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome