The effect of prophylactic knee bracing on proprioception performance in first division rugby union players
AbstractObjective. To investigate the effects of prophylactic knee bracing on proprioceptive performance among first division rugby union players during a 2-minute Wilknox Quad Time Logger balancing task.
Design. Each subject performed a 2-minute balancing task on the Wilknox Quad Time Logger. Test order, left or right leg, and the sequence of brace or non-brace, were randomised. Subjects were placed on the balancing board and instructed to balance for 2 minutes. Subjects performed 6 trials. Two days elapsed between testing. Each testing day involved 2 trials, 1 trial with and 1 without the prophylactic knee brace.
Settings. Testing took place at the biokinetics laboratory of the University of Zululand. Subjects. Thirty playing (not injured) male rugby players, aged 22 - 30 years, participating in the KwaZulu-Natal club championships (2000).
Outcome measure. Performance was measured in terms of time that balance was lost in a dynamic balance test. Peak proprioception was the best balancing performance recorded, and average proprioception the average balancing performance for all trials.
Results. The findings showed an improvement of 17.9% in average proprioception times and 19.1% in peak proprioception times with the application of a prophylactic knee brace (p < 0.01).
Conclusion. Prophylactic knee bracing improved proprioception performance of playing (uninjured) rugby players, and therefore may be responsible for the improvement in knee injury statistics reported in some studies on knee bracing.
South African Journal of Sports Medicine Vol.16(1) 2004: 33-36