Differential neuromuscular training effects on ACL injury risk factors in “high-risk” versus “low-risk” athletes

Gregory D Myer, Kevin R Ford, Jensen L Brent and Timothy E Hewett

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of neuromuscular training on ACL injury risk factors in female athletes classified as "high-risk" compared to those classified as "low-risk." The hypothesis was that high-risk athletes would decrease knee abduction moments while low-risk and control athletes would not show measurable changes.  Eighteen high school female athletes participated in neuromuscular training 3X/week over a 7- week period. Knee kinematics and kinetics were measured during a drop vertical jump (DVJ) test at pre/post training. The results indicate that "high-risk" female athletes decreased the magnitude of the previously identified risk factor to ACL injury following neuromuscular training. However, the mean values for the high-risk subjects were not reduced to levels similar to low-risk group following training. Targeting female athletes who demonstrate high-risk knee abduction loads during dynamic tasks may improve efficacy of neuromuscular training. Yet, increased training volume or more specific techniques may be necessary for high-risk athletes to substantially decrease ACL injury risk.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2007, 8, 39.

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