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Online ISSN 1827-1707
Rishiraj N. 1, Taunton J. E. 2, Lloyd-Smith R. 3, Regan W. 4, Woollard R. 5, Niven B. 6
1 ACTIN Health and Rehabilitation Inc and School of Human Kinetics University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada
2 Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre (Primary Care) University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada
3 Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre (Primary Care) University of British Columbia Athletics Vancouver, BC, Canada
4 Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre (Orthopaedics) University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada
5 Department of Family Practice University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada
6 Centre for Application of Statistics and Mathematics Department of Mathematics and Statistics University of Otago, Otago, New Zealand
Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of a functional knee brace (FKB) by non-injured athletes to determine if aerobic performance was hindered. In case the performance was affected, the study should demonstrate if any accommodation to wearing a FKB could occur during aerobic activity.
Methods. This study was a 2x3 non-braced and braced factorial design. Five healthy athletes completed the study. Subjects performed submaximal treadmill running test for 12-minutes with and without a knee brace. Oxygen consumption measurements and ratings of perceived exertion levels were recorded each testing day during treadmill running. Testing was completed over 6 days: a 3-day test was carried out without FKB and a 3-day test was carried out with a knee brace. Both data sets were used to determine if accommodation to FKB use was possible.
Results. A significantly higher mean oxygen consumption, for the 3 testing days, was recorded between the 2 conditions (F1,4=9.70, P=0.036) while no significant difference was seen for the RPE data (F1,4 = 4.55, P=0.123). The oxygen consumption and RPE interaction, over the 3 days of testing, between the 2 testing conditions was not significant (F2,8=0.716, P=0.517 and F2,8=0.228, P=0.802, respectively). However, accommodation to FKB use was noted as the percentage performance difference between non-braced and braced conditions decreased by day 3 of testing.
Conclusion. Use of a FKB initially hinders performance but accommodation to using the knee brace is possible. Further research, using a larger sample size and longer testing duration is required to confirm the potential accommodation trend.