Approximately 23,000 ankle sprains occur daily in the United States, and about one half require some form of medical treatment. Research has shown that athletes are twice as likely to re-injure their ankle within one year. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, athletes with ankle sprains who receive additional proprioceptive training after ‘usual care’ are 35% less likely to suffer a recurrence over the next year. Over 500 athletes in the Netherlands were randomly assigned to usual care (the control group) or usual care plus 8 weeks of balance board exercises. The ankle exercises were performed 3 times per week, 30 minutes per session as part of normal warm-up before sports. The program gradually increased in difficulty.
The authors concluded that the 8 week balance training program would benefit both athletes and the general population after suffering an ankle sprain. The results of this study were similar to findings in a 2004 study where volleyball players in the Netherlands significantly reduced their risk of re-injury after a balance board training program. Another study on American high school football players with a history of ankle sprains reduced their risk of reinjury by 77% by training with the Thera-Band® Stability Trainer. The Thera-Band System of Progressive Balance Training, including Thera-Band Stability Trainers, Rocker Boards, and Wobble Boards can be part of a balance training program to help reduce the recurrence of ankle sprains.