Background: Many studies have investigated ankle sprain injury and It has been reported that in 80% of cases, ankle sprains lead to functional ankle instability (FAI). The conventional exercises for FAI rehabilitation neglect the associated neurocognitive dysfunction.
Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effect of Wii Fit Plus as a virtual reality training on neurocognitive function in athletes with FAI compared to athletes without FAI.
Material and Methods: In this matched randomized clinical trial study, 25 athletes with unilateral FAI and 25 athletes without FAI were assigned to two groups randomly: 1) the intervention group, subjects performed the Wii training including balance and strengthening games three times a week for 12 sessions and 2) subjects in the control group received no intervention. Before and after the training, the neurocognitive function was assessed through the computerized-reaction time test based on the detection or identification of ‘X’ mark on a computer monitor. Between-groups and within-group comparisons were done by the independent T-test and paired T-test, respectively.
Results: A significant difference was observed in mean differences of neurocognitive function between athletes with and without FAI. Comprising before and after training was significant in the intervention group.
Conclusion: Based on the results, the information-processing speed of athletes with FAI increased after the training, utilized for rehabilitation protocols.