Effects of Achilles tendon vibration, surface and visual conditions on lower leg electromyography in young adults with and without recurrent ankle sprains

Anat V. Lubetzky, Robert Price, Sarah W. McCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Functional ankle instability is associated with decreased ankle muscle function. Compliant surfaces and eyes-closed training are commonly used for rehabilitation and prevention of ankle sprains. Brief Achilles tendon vibration is commonly used in the study of postural control. To test the level of activation of tibialis anterior (TIB) and fibularis longus (FIB), bilateral Achilles tendon vibration was applied for the middle 20 s in a series of 60-s trials, when 10 healthy young adults and 10 adults with history of repeated ankle sprains were standing bipedal: on floor, on memory foam, or on a Both Sides Up (BOSU) ball, with eyes open, and on floor and foam with eyes closed. Differences in Integrated surface electromyography (IEMG) of TIB and FIB were significant for both groups pre, during, and post vibration (Friedman Tests, p < 0.001 for all). In both groups, the highest IEMG for TIB was obtained during vibration when standing on foam with eyes closed, whereas the highest IEMG for FIB was obtained during vibration when standing on the BOSU. Bipedal stance on BOSU and brief Achilles tendon vibration may be a useful intervention when a session's goal is to facilitate lower leg muscles activation. Future research should explore training effects as well as the effect of FIB tendon vibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016



  • BOSU
  • Balance
  • Brief tendon vibration
  • Foam
  • Functional ankle instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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