Study Design Case-control study.
Objectives To compare the vertical ground reaction forces (GRF) of individuals with and without chronic ankle instability (CAI), shod or barefoot, during normal and fast walking.
Background CAI is a condition that often occurs after sustaining an ankle sprain. Kinetic differences between participants with and without CAI during walking were previously reported. However, some studies assessed these parameters with shoes while others had the participants walk barefoot. No study has yet investigated if there are differences in GRF when walking shod or barefoot in participants with and without CAI. Furthermore, no studies have quantified the effects of walking speed on these parameters.
Methods and Measures Two groups of 21 participants (with and without CAI) were recruited. All participants performed five overground walking trials, shod and barefoot, at normal and fast walking speeds. During these tasks, the GRF were measured with a force platform embedded in the floor on the participants’ path. The variables analysed were the impact peak, the active peak, the average loading rate (AVL) and the time of impact and active peaks. GRF differences were compared with repeated-measures analysis of variance. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05 and Hedges’ g>0.5.
Results No significant differences were observed between groups for all variables. However, significant condition and speed effects were found. Earlier and lower impact peak were observed when walking barefoot compared to shod. The analyses also yielded earlier and lower impact peak, a delayed active peak and a lower AVL in normal compared to fast walking.
Conclusions These results suggest that participants with CAI do not have altered GRF during walking. It has been previously reported that participants with CAI have altered GRF during running. It would be interesting to assess if significant differences are only observed in more challenging tasks.
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