CAN INJURY RISK CATEGORY BE CHANGED IN ATHLETES? AN ANALYSIS OF AN INJURY PREVENTION SYSTEM

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The FIFA 11+ injury prevention program has been shown to reduce injuries in soccer players by 39% (1). It stands to reason that a more individualized program, especially one including athlete-specific mobility exercises, could reduce injuries even further.

Move2Perform is software that categorizes athletes’ injury risk based on the presence of several risk factors: previous injury, low composite scores and asymmetries on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Lower Quarter Y-Balance Test (YBT), and pain provocation during movement testing. The software categorizes athletes with more risk factors as “moderate” and “substantial” risk, and athletes with fewer risk factors as “slight” and “optimal” risk.

A previous study on 183 college athletes showed those categorized by the algorithm as moderate or substantial risk were 3.4 times more likely to be injured than athletes in the slight and optimal risk categories (2). The purpose of this study was to determine if a “hybrid” injury prevention program could change athletes’ risk category. The injury prevention program was a hybrid of FIFA 11+ style warm-ups and individualized corrective exercises.

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METHODS

44 female high school soccer players (14-17 years old) were tested using the Move2Perform system in the pre-season and again after an eight-week injury prevention program. The intervention consisted of two sessions per week of FIFA 11+ style warm-ups (i.e. agility, core, and jump training) and also included three individually-prescribed corrective exercises based on the FMS and YBT findings. Athletes performed the corrective exercises during both the warm-up and cool-down. The outcome of interest was the number of players in each injury risk category pre- and post-intervention.

RESULTS

The injury prevention program was able to move 21/44 athletes (48%) to a lower injury risk category (e.g. moderate to slight). Another 21 athletes stayed at the same risk category. Only two athletes were re-categorized as higher risk after the

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