PROPRIOCEPTION AND MUSCLE STRENGTHENING IN THE STABILITY OF THE ANKLE IN FEMALE INDOOR SOCCER ATHLETES
ABSTRACT Introduction: Indoor soccer is a team sport characterized by fast and high intensity movements, with frequent change of direction of the athletes, which predisposes the lower limb to injuries mainly in the ankle joint. Objective: To compare the effects of a proprioceptive training and muscle strengthening training on ankle joint stability in female indoor soccer athletes through the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT). Methods: Twenty female indoor soccer athletes, aged between 18 and 30 years (mean 22.45 ± 3.30) with no history of lower limb injuries in the last six months were divided randomly into two groups. One group underwent proprioceptive training and the other a muscle strengthening protocol for four weeks. SEBT was used to evaluate the pre and post-intervention phases. For the comparison of means of both ankles in each isolated groups the t test was used for repeated measures. For the comparison of means between groups, the t test was applied for independent samples. The level of significance was set at 5 % (p≤0.05) and statistical analyzes were performed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) version 18. Results: Both proprioceptive training and muscle strengthening training obtained statistically significant results in lateral, posterior-lateral, posterior, posterior-medial and medial directions, demonstrating a good stability of the ankle joint for any of the protocols. When comparing the pre- and post-intervention between groups there were no statistically significant differences in any of test directions. Conclusion: Proprioceptive training and muscle strengthening training during four weeks seem to be viable and effective alternatives to increase ankle joint stability in female indoor soccer players.