Ground reaction forces and EMG activity with ankle bracing during inversion stress

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Sep;30(9):1363-70. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199809000-00004.


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of external ankle support on ground reaction forces and myoelectrical activity of selected lower extremity muscles during dynamic inversion stress.

Methods: Twenty-four healthy males performed five trials of a lateral dynamic movement at a rate between 80-90% of their maximal speed under three ankle brace conditions (no brace--control, Aircast Sport-Stirrup, Active Ankle). Ground reaction forces along the mediolateral axis and EMG activity of the peroneus longus, tibialis anterior, and medial gastrocnemius were simultaneously recorded during force plate contact.

Results: Ankle bracing did not affect peak impact force (P > 0.05), maximum loading force (P > 0.05), or peak propulsion force (P > 0.05) in the lateral direction compared with the control condition. Ankle bracing reduced the EMG activity of the peroneus longus during peak impact force compared with the control condition (P < 0.05), although no differences were noted between the two braces. Furthermore, peroneous longus activity during maximum loading force and peak propulsion remained unaffected (P < 0.05). Ankle bracing did not affect the EMG activity of the tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius at the point of peak impact force, maximum loading force (P > 0.05), and peak propulsion force (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: These data suggest that ankle bracing may not affect the forces experienced at the foot and ankle, but helps reduce the strain placed on the peroneus longus during peak impact force. Furthermore, ankle bracing does not alter the function of the tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius during dynamic inversion stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Braces*
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology