Effectiveness of Low-Frequency Stimulation in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Techniques for Post Ankle Sprain Balance and Proprioception in Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Stretching is an important part of post ankle sprain rehabilitation, as well as an effective exercise for improving general ankle-joint performance. But the combination of stretching alongside low-frequency stimulation has not yet been extensively studied. Therefore, the purpose of the present randomized controlled trial was to compare the combined effects of low-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) with proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on strength, balance, and proprioception among individuals with post ankle sprain. Sixty male subjects with lateral ankle sprain were selected and randomly allocated to three groups: Group 1, group 2, and the control group (CG). Subjects in group 1 received the PNF stretching technique combined with TENS. TENS stimulation was provided using two electrodes placed 5 cm apart directly on the triceps sural muscle of the affected leg and a biphasic current with a symmetrical waveform at 50 Hz for 15 seconds, tuned for a 3-second ramp up time and a 30-second rest time with a 250-microsecond pulse duration was given with PNF stretching. Subjects in group 2 received the PNF stretching technique alone. Both group 1 and group 2 received these treatments for 4 weeks (4 days/week); follow-up assessments were administered in the third and fifth weeks. CG received no treatment; outcome measures alone were assessed. Outcome measures comprised pain, balance, flexibility, proprioception, range of motion, muscle strength, and functional limitation. A mixed-model ANOVA showed significant interaction (time and group) and the time effect for all the outcome measures (p≤0.05). Group 1 (PNF-TENS) showed significant improvement for all the outcome variables compared to the other groups. The present study showed PNF stretching combined with TENS for the triceps sural muscle to trigger muscle contraction during the muscle contraction phase of the PNF stretch, compared against PNF stretching alone, produced significant improvements in ankle function for post ankle sprain subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9012930
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2020
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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