What Physiotherapy intervention can decrease the incidence of all lower limb injury by a whopping 39%, reduce acute knee injuries by 54% and ankle sprains by 50%. These are impressive numbers and they stack up well given they are based on a systematic review of high quality studies by Hubscher et al (2010).
The interest in neuromuscular training as a means of injury prevention has developed in court based sports and soccer over the past decade. This research has now reached the point where there is compelling evidence to recommend this style of training as a means of injury prevention and indeed as a form of rehabilitation prior to returning to sport.
Neuromuscular warm up programs like the 11+ (developed by FIFA and freely available from their website) provide a proven intervention for reducing injuries in female athletes in soccer as well as other sports.
Next time you are working with a sports team or an athlete who has suffered an injury in a court or field sport spare a thought for some neuromuscular skill assessment and development. The numbers suggest it’s a smart move to make.
Michael Heynen FACP
B. App. Sc. (Exercise and Sports Science) B. App. Sc. (Physiotherapy)
Masters of Sports Physiotherapy
Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapy
Hubscher et al (2010) Neuromuscular Training for Sports Injury Prevention: A systematic review. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42 (3) 413-421.