Comparison of three preventive methods in order to reduce the incidence of ankle inversion sprains among female volleyball players
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Background: Ankle sprains are the most common form of acute injury in volleyball. A prevention programme consisting of technical training, proprioceptive training, and external support was previously designed to reduce the rate of ankle sprains in volleyball players. Objective: To investigate which of these three interventions is the most effective in preventing ankle sprain in female volleyball players. Methods: Participants were 52 players who suffered ankle sprains during the season 1998-1999. They were divided randomly into three preventive groups: group 1 (n = 18) followed the technical training programme; group 2 (n = 17) followed the proprioceptive programme; group 3 (n = 17) used orthosis. The players followed their respective programmes for the whole of the 1999-2000 season. Data were collected at the end of the season. Results: The three preventive strategies were all effective in preventive further ankle sprain. Technical training was slightly more effective than the other two methods. Orthosis was not effective in athletes who had suffered ankle sprains more than three times during their careers. Under those circumstances, technical training and proprioceptive training were equally effective at preventive further sprains. Conclusions: Technical training and proprioceptive training are effective methods of preventing ankle sprain in volleyball players who have suffered this injury four or more times during their career. Orthosis appears effective only in players with fewer than four previous sprains.