DOI: 10.1177/19417381231219198 ISSN: 1941-7381

Adding Neurofeedback Training to Neuromuscular Training for Rehabilitation of Chronic Ankle Instability: A 3-Arm Randomized Controlled Trial

Ali Yalfani, Masoud Azizian, Behnam Gholami-Borujeni
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Neurofeedback training (NFT) can aid in the treatment of the abnormal patterns of the brain brought on by physical injury, enhancing cognitive and behavioral abilities. The present study aimed to compare the effectiveness of combining neuromuscular training (NMT) and NFT (NMT+NFT) with NMT alone in rehabilitating athletes with chronic ankle instability (CAI).


NMT+NFT will be more effective than NMT alone.

Study Design:

A 3-arm, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Level of Evidence:

Level 2.


A total number of 62 athletes, aged 18 to 25 years, with CAI, participated in this study. The study subjects were allocated randomly to 3 groups: 21 cases in the control group, 21 cases in the combination group (CG) receiving NMT+NFT, and 20 cases in the neuromuscular group (NG) practicing NMT alone, undergoing exercises related to their groups for 8 weeks. Data were recorded and analyzed before and after the 8-week training program. The primary outcome measures were postural sway indices; secondary outcomes included ankle proprioception and biopsychosocial indices.


NMT+NFT was more effective than NMT alone in terms of improving postural control during single- and 2-legged standing positions under the conditions of eyes closed and eyes open, proprioception at 20° of plantar flexion, as well as anxiety and depression in athletes with CAI. However, the findings revealed that NMT+NFT and NMT alone could both improve such indices.


NMT+NFT as a treatment protocol improved postural control, ankle proprioception, anxiety, and depression greater than NMT alone.

Clinical Relevance:

A combined protocol of NFT and NMT led to greater improvement compared with NMT alone. NFT was recommended as an adjunct therapy in the rehabilitation of athletes suffering from CAI.

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