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African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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The effect of Prophylactic knee bracing on selected performance patameters

Theodore H. Kruger, Marius F. Coetsee, Simeon E.H. Davies

Abstract


The objective of this study was to determine if the wearing of a prophylactic knee brace by uninjured rugby players affected the following performance based parameters: speed, agility, strength, proprioception and economy of running. Thirty rugby players were subjected to a selected number of carefully monitored performance tests, with and without the wearing of a prophylactic knee brace. Testing took place on the rugby field at Mick Kelly Park, Empangeni and in the Biokinetics laboratory at the University of Zululand. Performance in speed, agility (which includes other rugby skills) and economy of running were all significantly (p<0.05) affected by the wearing of a prophylactic knee brace. Strength was unaffected. Proprioception as a measure of sensory feedback enhancing action-reaction stability of the lower limbs was significantly (p<0.01) improved by brace wearing, but this did not translate to rugby performance skills. The results of this study do not support the use of a prophylactic knee brace because of the negative effect it has on performance.


(Af. J. for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 9 (1): 40-51)



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