The Role of Ankle Proprioception for Balance Control in relation to Sports Performance and Injury

Biomed Res Int. 2015:2015:842804. doi: 10.1155/2015/842804. Epub 2015 Oct 25.


Balance control improvement is one of the most important goals in sports and exercise. Better balance is strongly positively associated with enhanced athletic performance and negatively associated with lower limb sports injuries. Proprioception plays an essential role in balance control, and ankle proprioception is arguably the most important. This paper reviews ankle proprioception and explores synergies with balance control, specifically in a sporting context. Central processing of ankle proprioceptive information, along with other sensory information, enables integration for balance control. When assessing ankle proprioception, the most generalizable findings arise from methods that are ecologically valid, allow proprioceptive signals to be integrated with general vision in the central nervous system, and reflect the signal-in-noise nature of central processing. Ankle proprioceptive intervention concepts driven by such a central processing theory are further proposed and discussed for the improvement of balance control in sport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle / physiology*
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Postural Balance*
  • Proprioception / physiology*