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01-12-2016 | Research | Uitgave 1/2016 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2016

Cutaneous stimulation at the ankle: a differential effect on proprioceptive postural control according to the participants’ preferred sensory strategy

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2016
Auteurs:
Sébastien Pavailler, Frédérique Hintzy, Nicolas Horvais, Nicolas Forestier
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13047-016-0140-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

SP coordinated the study, collected and treated the data, and participated in the design of the study, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation. FH and NH participated in the design and coordination of the study, and manuscript preparation. NF participated in the design and coordination of the study, statistical analysis, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Ankle movements can be partially encoded by cutaneous afferents. However, little is known about the central integration of these cutaneous signals, and whether individual differences exist in this integration. The aim of this study was to determine whether the effect of cutaneous stimulation at the ankle would differ depending on the participants’ preferred sensory strategy appraised by relative proprioceptive weighting (RPw).

Methods

Forty-seven active young individuals free of lower-limb injury stood on a force platform either barefoot or wearing a custom-designed bootee. Vibrations (60 Hz, 0.5 mm) were applied either to the peroneal tendons or to the lumbar paraspinal muscles.

Results

The barefoot RPw was strongly negatively correlated to the absolute change in RPw measured in the bootee condition (r = −0.81, P < 0.001). Participants were then grouped depending on their barefoot RPw value. The RPw was significantly higher in the bootee condition than in the barefoot condition only for participants with low barefoot RPw.

Conclusions

The external cutaneous stimulation given by the bootee increased the weight of ankle proprioceptive signals only for participants with low barefoot RPw. This result confirmed that optimization of the ankle proprioceptive signals provided by cutaneous afferent stimulation has a differential effect depending on the participants’ preferred sensory strategy.

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