Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Effect of Knee Supports on Knee Joint Position Sense after Uphill and Downhill Walking. A Test Using a Hiking Simulation Method

Bottoni G, Heinrich D, Kofler P, Hasler M and Nachbauer W

Hiking is a backcountry activity suitable for people in every age. Pain and injuries are reported in hiking especially during downhill walking. This increased injury risk is caused primarily by high loads on the lower extremities? joints and the optimal coordination control therefore required. Through the use of knee supports during hiking the injury risk might be reduced by, for example, improving proprioception. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of wearing a knee sleeve and a knee brace on knee proprioception during a hiking simulation protocol on a treadmill. Twenty-four female sport students took part in this study. Joint position sense was measured without wearing any knee support, wearing a knee sleeve and wearing a knee brace at the beginning, after 30 minutes uphill walking and after 30 min downhill walking on a treadmill. Considering all tested subjects, without knee support the absolute repositioning error at the beginning was significantly better than the error after downhill walking (p=0.022) but no effect of the knee supports was found. Analysing only the subjects with a worsening in joint position sense after the activity, a significant improvement in joint position sense found wearing the sleeve and the brace after uphill and downhill walking (p