Evaluation of biomechanical and neuromuscular effects of prophylactic knee brace use following exercise.
Brenneman, Elora C
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The use of knee braces prophylactically is still considered as an approach for injury mitigation for those in high-risk sporting activities, though their use is not fully supported. The purpose of this thesis was to examine biomechanical and neuromuscular effects of prophylactic brace wear following standardized repetitive exercise. Twelve participants participated and acted as their own control. The participants were required to participate in two sessions, one control session with no brace and one intervention session with the application of a off-the-shelf prophylactic knee brace. Pre-and post-exercise intervention single leg drop landings were recorded to examine the effects of an acute exercise stimulus on the neuromuscular and biomechanical effects of brace wear. Additionally, trials were collected at 30-minutes post-exercise to examine residual effects of the brace wear on landing kinematics and kinetics. Difference tests using analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that there was a minimal effect of the prophylactic knee brace on biomechanical and neuromuscular variables following exercise as well as 30-minutes following knee brace removal. Further research may be required to identify if braces can be worn prophylactically to reduce the risk of injury during activity.