Context: A dynamic-balance-training (DBT) program supplemented with the Graston instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (GISTM) technique has not been evaluated collectively as a treatment in subjects with chronic ankle instability (CAI).
Objective: To examine the effects of GISTM in conjunction with a DBT program on outcomes associated with CAI, including pain and disability, range of motion (ROM), and dynamic postural control.
Design: Pretest/posttest, repeated measures.
Setting: High school and a Division I mid-Atlantic university.
Participants: Thirty-six healthy, physically active individuals (5 female, 31 male; age 17.7 ± 1.9 y; height 175.3 ± 14.6 cm) with a history of CAI as determined by an ankle-instability questionnaire volunteered to be in this study.
Interventions: Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 intervention groups: both treatments (DBT/GISTM, n = 13), DBT and a sham GISTM treatment (DBT/GISTM-S, n = 12), or DBT and control-no GISTM (DBT/C, n = 11). All groups participated in a 4-wk DBT program consisting of low-impact and dynamic activities that was progressed from week to week. The DBT/GISTM and DBT/GISTM-S groups received the GISTM treatment or sham treatment twice a week for 8 min before performing the DBT program. Pretest and posttest measurements included the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), FAAM Sport, the visual analog scale (VAS), ankle ROM in 4 directions, and the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) in 3 directions.
Main outcome measures: FAAM and FAAM-Sport scores, VAS, goniometric ROM (plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, eversion), and SEBT (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral).
Results: Subjects in all groups posttest demonstrated an increase in FAAM, FAAM Sport, ROM, and SEBT in all directions but not in VAS, which decreased. No other results were significant.
Conclusion: For subjects with CAI, dynamic postural control, ROM, pain and disability improved pretest to posttest regardless of group membership, with the largest effects found in most measures in the DBT/GISTM group.