s40634-020-00275-1.pdf (1.44 MB)

Delayed ankle muscle reaction time in female amateur footballers after the first 15 minutes of a simulated prolonged football protocol

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posted on 16.07.2020 by Daniel Fong, Wing-Ching Leung, Kam-Ming Mok, Patrick SH Yung
Purpose: Ankle sprain injury rate is reported to be higher towards the end of a football match. Muscle fatigue may contribute to the delayed muscle reaction and subsequent injury. This study investigated the ankle muscle reaction time during a simulated, prolonged football protocol.
Methods: Seven amateur female football players participated in a 105-minute simulated, prolonged football protocol. An ankle muscle reaction test was conducted with a pair of ankle sprain simulators at a scheduled interval every 15-minutes. The reaction times of peroneus longus, tibialis anterior, and lateral gastrocnemius were collected using an electromyography system sampling at 1000 Hz. Repeated measures one-way multivariate analysis of variance with post-hoc paired t-tests were conducted to evaluate if the reaction time at each time point significantly differed from baseline. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 level.
Results: Reaction times started from 40.5-47.7 ms at baseline and increased to 48.6-55.7 ms at the end. Reaction times significantly increased in all muscles after the first 15 minutes except for the dominant lateral gastrocnemius. Increased reaction times were seen in the non-dominant limb after 60 minutes for tibialis anterior, after 75 minutes for peroneus longus, and after 90 minutes for the lateral gastrocnemius.
Conclusions: Delayed reaction time of the ankle muscles were found after the first 15 minutes and in the final 45 minutes of a simulated prolonged football protocol. Strategies for injury prevention should also focus on tackling the delayed ankle muscle reaction time in the acute phase (the first 15 minutes), in addition to the latter minutes in the second half.
Level of evidence: Controlled laboratory study, Level V.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics






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Dr Daniel Fong. Deposit date: 15 July 2020

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