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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Ankle manual therapy for individuals with post-acute ankle sprains: description of a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Todd E Davenport1*, Kornelia Kulig2 and Beth E Fisher3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physical Therapy, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA

2 Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

3 Neuroplasticity and Imaging Laboratory, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:59  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-59

Published: 19 October 2010

Abstract

Background

Ankle sprains are common within the general population and can result in prolonged disablement. Limited talocrural dorsiflexion range of motion (DF ROM) is a common consequence of ankle sprain. Limited talocrural DF ROM may contribute to persistent symptoms, disability, and an elevated risk for re-injury. As a result, many health care practitioners use hands-on passive procedures with the intention of improving talocrural joint DF ROM in individuals following ankle sprains. Dosage of passive hands-on procedures involves a continuum of treatment speeds. Recent evidence suggests both slow- and fast-speed treatments may be effective to address disablement following ankle sprains. However, these interventions have yet to be longitudinally compared against a placebo study condition.

Methods/Design

We developed a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to test the hypotheses that hands-on treatment procedures administered to individuals following ankle sprains during the post-acute injury period can improve short-, intermediate-, and long-term disablement, as well as reduce the risk for re-injury.

Discussion

This study is designed to measure the clinical effects of hands-on passive stretching treatment procedures directed to the talocrural joint that vary in treatment speed during the post-acute injury period, compared to hands-on placebo control intervention.

Trial Registration

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00888498.