The Accuracy of Ankle Eccentric Torque Control Explains Dynamic Postural Control During the Y-Balance Test.
Nozu S, Johnson KA, Tanaka T, Inoue M, Nishio H, Takazawa Y.
Background: The Y-Balance Test (YBT), especially the posteromedial (PM) reach direction (PM-YBT), is able to identify dynamic postural control deficits in those who have ankle instability. However, there still exists a need to understand how sensorimotor function at the ankle explains the performance during the PM-YBT.
Hypothesis/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the ability to accurately control eccentric ankle torque explained PM-YBT performance. It was hypothesized that eccentric dorsiflexion/plantarflexion torque control would be positively related to the maximum reach distance (MRD) of PM-YBT.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study
Methods: Twelve healthy subjects performed the PM-YBT, maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) for both dorsiflexion and plantarflexion muscle strength, and then the torque control testing of the ankle. The torque control testing provided a target torque level on a screen in front of the subject and passive rotations of the ankle joint in the sagittal plane at 10 deg/sec between plantarflexion to dorsiflexion. Subjects were then instructed to eccentrically contract the dorsiflexors and plantar flexors to generate torque while the ankle joint rotated. The accuracy of torque control during eccentric dorsiflexion and plantarflexion by calculating absolute errors, the area between the target torque and the produced torque were evaluated. Tibialis anterior and soleus muscle activities were simultaneously recorded during testing. A step-wise linear regression model was used to determine the best model predicted the MRD of the PM-YBT (PM-MRD).
Results: A step-wise linear regression developed a model explaining only eccentric dorsiflexion torque control predicted higher PM-MRD score (R2 = 44%, F1,10 = 7.94, β = -0.67, p = 0.02).
Conclusion: The accuracy of torque control during eccentric dorsiflexion predicts better performance in the PM-YBT.
Level of Evidence: 3b