Throwback Thursday! In 2000, researchers wanted to determine whether proprioception or muscular strength is the dominant factor in balance and joint stability, and defined which type of ankle rehabilitation is most effective for these purposes.
32 healthy, physically active young subjects were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups. (1) control; (2) strengthening group: TheraBand elastic resistance and free-weight resisted ankle exercises; (3) proprioception group: TheraBand Kicks, foam pad balancing, wobble board; (4) combo group: TheraBand strength plus wobble board balance. Each subject was evaluated for static (force plate), dynamic (hop test), and semi-dynamic (stability system) balance before and after the 6 week training program.
All subjects significantly improved in their semi-dynamic and dynamic balance, but not in static balance. There was no significant difference in these gains between groups.
Strength training and balance training with inexpensive TheraBand resistance and balance trainers are equally effective in improving dynamic balance in healthy individuals, but not static balance. The authors concluded that the peripheral training led to an adaptation in the central nervous system.
Blackburn T, Guskiewicz KM, Petschauer MA, Prentice WE. 2000. Balance and joint stability: The relative contributions of proprioception and muscular strength. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 9:315-328.