Neuromuscular training has long been performed in Europe as part of sports training and injury prevention. Neuromuscular training involves progressive balance training using unstable surfaces such as Thera-Band® Stability Trainers, Stability Discs, and Balance Boards. Several studies have reported that proprioceptive exercises and training reduce injuries in athletes.
Researchers in Hungary evaluated the effects of a 20-month proprioceptive training program in 10 female handball players. Their ankle proprioception was compared to a control group of 10 competitive athletes. The program included static and dynamic balance exercises using wobble boards. At the end of 20 months, the training group had completed 780 hours of the proprioceptive exercise. Their ankle proprioception, measured by ankle joint position sense, was significantly better compared to the control group. In addition, the training group experienced a 50% reduction in injuries. Proprioceptive training progression including Thera-Band Wobble Boards can improve ankle proprioception and may decrease ankle injury rates in contact sports.
REFERENCE: Kynsburg A, Pánics G, Halasi T. Long-term neuromuscular training and ankle joint position sense. Acta Physiol Hung. 2010 Jun;97(2):183-91.