• Lothar Thorwesten
  • Katharina Engels
  • Jörg Jerosch
Keywords: electromyogram (EMG), drop jump, muscular activation latency, knee bandages, proprioception


INTRODUCTION: The therapeutic management of knee injuries is still a central topic in the field of sports traumatology. Different therapeutic concepts and functional training, as well as proprioceptive stimulation with external devices, are discussed for optimized active muscular stabilization. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of knee bandages on the electromyogram (EMG) patterns of the quadriceps muscle in performing ‘drop jumps’ from various heights. METHODS: Twelve healthy male volunteers (mean age: 24.7±2.8 years; mean weight: 78.3±4.0 kg; mean height: 184.5 ±6.2 cm) with a regular training frequency of at least 5.7 hours a week were tested in a randomized order, performing four ‘drop jumps’ from each of five heights (16cm, 32cm, 48cm, 64cm; 80 cm) using two types of knee bandages (‘Kasseler-patellar-tendon bandage’; ‘Genu-plus bandage’), as well as without a bandage. Muscular activation of the knee-stabilizing muscles was recorded by an 8-channel EMG-System with surface electrodes. For the assignment of ground reaction forces we used a Kistler platform. Mean values of all data regarding bandage type and drop height were calculated; statistical evaluation for significant differences was performed at the 95% confidence level using SPSS statistics software. RESULTS: Our results showed a significantly shorter activation latency of the different parts of the quadriceps muscle (m. rectus femoris; m. vastus lateralis; m. vastus medialis) with increasing jumping height using a knee bandage compared to drop jumps without a knee bandage. [ CONCLUSION: With regard to the influence of knee bandages on sensomotoric functions, it seems to be profitable to use such proprioceptive stimulation for optimizing active muscular stabilization.