The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a single joint mobilization treatment on dorsiflexion range of motion (DF ROM), posterior talar glide, and dynamic and static postural control in individuals with self-reported chronic ankle instability (CAI). In this randomized cross-over study, subjects received a Maitland Grade III anterior-to-posterior joint mobilization treatment and a control treatment of rest for 5 min. Weight-bearing DF ROM, instrumented posterior talar displacement and posterior stiffness, the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral reach directions of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), and time-to-boundary (TTB) single-limb stance static postural control were assessed on both treatment days in 9 males and 11 females with CAI. The results indicated that the joint mobilization treatment was associated with significantly greater DF ROM (p = 0.01) and TTB in the anterior-posterior direction with eyes-open (p < 0.05). Although not significant, trends were identified in posterior talar displacement (p = 0.08) and the mean of TTB in the medial-lateral (ML) direction (p = 0.07). No significant differences were observed in the standard deviation of TTB in the ML direction, the SEBT, or posterior stiffness (p > 0.05). This indicates that a single joint mobilization treatment has mechanical and functional benefits for addressing impairments in sensorimotor function and arthrokinematic restrictions commonly experienced by individuals with CAI.
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