The underlying mechanisms and function of joint stabilizers
Joint stabilizers (JS), such as braces, bandages, compression garment, taping and corsets, are commonly applied in clinical and sports settings. It is believed that JS's enhance proprioception by stimulating cutaneous receptors and by pressuring the underlying musculoskeletal structures. However, it still remains unknown if and how JS's enhance proprioception, stability at various joints amongst athletes, sedentary individuals of both sexes and across all age groups. Thus, this study aimed to generate a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms and function of various JS amongst different population groups.
The authors performed a comprehensive literature search in several databases. All the studies identified during the search were independently screened and the quality was assessed by using the PEDro methodological quality scale. In total 50 studies were included.
30 of these studies reported significant enhancements, 8 studies reported non-significant enhancements and 10 studies reported no effects following the application of JS on proprioception and/or postural stability.
3 studies evaluated the effect of ankle taping and demonstrated a negligible effect of taping on functional amongst people affected by ankle joint instability.
A single study investigated the effect of a lumbar corset and showed that it normalised pelvic stability. 3 studies that analysed the effect of brace, compression sleeve and scapular taping application showed an enhancement in shoulder joint proprioception.
7 (compression garment), 2 (bandage), 2 (tape) and 4 (brace) studies reported a beneficial effect in knee proprioception, in participants with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome, ACL deficits and osteoarthritis.
The results of compression garments and braces on brain activity and on the hip joint stability, braces on trunk proprioception showed no enhancements.
In conclusion, the systematic review revealed beneficial effects of JS’s on proprioception. The findings inform clinical implications for the preventive and rehabilitative use of JS in modern sports and rehabilitation settings
> From: Ghai et al., Phys Ther Sport (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.