Effects of joint stabilizers on proprioception and stability: a systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: The current review and meta-analysis systematically investigated the effect of joint stabilizers on proprioception, postural stability, and neurological activity. Methods: Systematic identification of published literature was performed on online databases; Scopus, PEDro, SportDiscus, and EMBASE, followed by a critical PEDro methodological quality appraisal. Data from the studies were extracted and summarised in a tabular format. Results: Of 2954 records, 50 studies, involving 1443 participants met our inclusion criteria. In the included studies, 60% of studies reported significant enhancements (p<0.05), 19% of studies reported enhancements (p>0.05) and 21% of studies reported no effects of joint stabilizers on proprioception and/or postural stability. Meta-analysis of pooled studies demonstrated beneficial effects of joint stabilizers on the knee (95%CI: 0.35° to 0.61°) and ankle (at 10: 0.1° to 0.65°) joint proprioception, and negligible effects on postural stability (- 0.28° to 0.19°). Conclusion: The pooled evidence suggests that application of joint stabilizers enhances joint proprioception and stability by not merely altering the mechanical stability of the underlying musculoskeletal structures but by also causing subtle changes in cerebral hemodynamics and musculoskeletal activation. These findings support clinical implications of joint stabilizers as a prophylactic and rehabilitation measure in modern sports and rehabilitation settings.

publication date

  • 2017