The effect of talocrural joint manipulation on range of motion at the ankle


      Objective: To determine whether a single high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust manipulation to the talocrural joint altered ankle range of motion. Design: A randomized, controlled and blinded study. Subjects: Asymptomatic male and female volunteers (N = 41). Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned into either an experimental group (n = 20) or a control group (n = 21). Both ankles of subjects in the experimental group were manipulated by using a single high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust to the talocruraljoint. Pretest and posttest measurements of passive dorsiflexion range of motion were taken. Results: No significant changes in dorsiflexion range of motion were detected between manipulated ankles and those of control subjects. A significantly greater pretest dorsiflexion range of motion existed in those ankles in which manipulation produced an audible cavitation. Conclusion: Manipulation of the ankle does not increase dorsiflexion range of motion in asymptomatic subjects. Ankles that displayed a greater pretest range of dorsiflexion were more likely to cavitate, raising the possibility that ligament laxity may be associated with the tendency for ankles to cavitate. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002;25:384-90)


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