Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field: Neuromuscular Training Programs Reduce the Risk of Injury in Youth Athletes (Sports Med Res)


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Neuromuscular Training Programs Reduce the Risk of Injury in Youth Athletes

Dose-response relationship of neuromuscular training for injury prevention in youth athletes: A meta-analysis.

Steib S, Rahlf AL, Pfeifer K, and Zech A. Front Physiolo. (8) 2017.

Take Home Message: A 10-15-minute neuromuscular training program deployed at least 2-3 sessions per week could offer more than a 45% reduction in risk of lower extremity injury.
Youth athletes are at greater risk of injury than nonathletes. Neuromuscular training programs effectively decrease sports-related injury rates, yet dose-response guidelines are unavailable. Therefore, Steib and colleagues completed a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the optimal dose of neuromuscular training to prevent lower extremity injuries in youth sports. After a literature search, the authors used a PICOS (patent/problem, intervention, control/comparison, outcome, study design) strategy to screen studies for inclusion. The reviewers included studies based on 5 criteria: (1) athletes were 21 years of age or younger, (2) a neuromuscular training program was evaluated, (3) the study contained a control, (4) lower extremity injury data were available, and (5) an analytical study design was used (e.g., randomized trial, cohort study). Two independent reviewers evaluated study quality using the PEDro scale. Data from all included studies were then extracted and analyzed. The authors included 16 articles in the final analysis. Athletes ranged from 12-18 years of age and soccer and basketball were the most commonly assessed sport. Overall, 1,417,730 athlete exposures and 1,724 lower extremity injuries were recorded resulting in a ~42% reduction in lower extremity injury risk (41% reduction among randomized trials). Overall, the authors found that neuromuscular training programs effectively reduced the risk of injury by at least 45% when deployed at least 2-3 times per week, for 10-15 minutes per session, and with a combined weekly training volume of 30 or more minutes per week.

The results of the current study highlight that clinicians could encourage coaches and teams to build these short-duration neuromuscular training programs into pre-practice or pre-game warm-ups. In fact, many teams might not need to replace their existing warm-up programs. Instead they could adapt their current warm-up to include recommended types of exercises. Clinicians can use these results to show coaches that these short-duration programs could be easily implemented without compromising practice time. It would be interesting to know if these results were consistent across sports and age groups. While more research may be needed to address this question, clinicians should start to encourage implementing short-duration neuromuscular programs because they can dramatically reduce the risk of lower extremity injury.

Questions for Discussion: Have you implemented a neuromuscular training program? If so what specific programs have you implemented and why?

Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Driban

Related Posts:
FIFA 11 ... (But Really FIFA 11 +) Programs Are Effective in Reducing Football (Soccer) Injuries
FIFA 11+ Reduces the Risk of Injuries Amongst Soccer Players
Another Feather in the Cap of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program
High Adherence to the FIFA 11+ Decreases Injury Risk Among Youth Female Soccer Players
FIFA11+ Improves Performance and Reduces Injuries in Soccer


Warren Potash said...

I began neuromuscular training as an integral part of training to play sports for teen female athletes. Now, 600+ females trained and elite male athletes have all benefited with safe and age-appropriate training to play sports. Every evidence-based report have all concluded the same results... IT REALLY WORKS!!!!... Now, we need to convince all adults to have athletes participate in neuromuscular training.

Jeffrey Driban said...

Thanks Warren for sharing your clinical experience. We need to convince our peers to that it works in the real world and your story helps. Thanks!

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