Decreased physical activity levels have been reported in those with chronic ankle instability. It is unknown when this decline in activity occurs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine physical activity levels before and one year after an acute lateral ankle sprain (LAS).
Twenty subjects (7 males and 13 females, age = 21.7 ± 2.7 yr, mass = 79.4 ± 18.1 kg, ht = 173.2 ± 9.5 cm) with an acute LAS and twenty healthy subjects (7 males and 13 females, age = 20.4 ± 2.9 yr, mass = 80.6 ± 22.3 kg, ht = 172.4 ± 8.7 cm) participated. Subjects were given activity questionnaires to estimate their physical activity levels the week before they were injured and one year after the injury.
There was a significant interaction (p = 0.001) for the NASA physical activity scale. Subjects in the LAS group scored significantly less at the 1-year mark compared to their pre-injury levels (p = 0.001), and significantly less (p = 0.02) than the healthy group at the 1-year mark.
It appears one year after a LAS subjects are significantly less physically active. Further research is needed to understand why subjects have decreased physical activity, as this decreased activity could lead to the development of other chronic injuries and/or illnesses.