BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Many injury prevention programs focusing on neuromuscular training (NMT) have been developed in recent years. With increasing rates of participation in sports, it is important to determine what is the optimal dose of injury prevention programs in youth athletes. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate dose-response relationships of NMT programs in preventing lower extremity injuries specific to youth athletes. Training frequency, session duration, training volume, and intervention period of NMT programs were aspects of injury prevention programs that were examined.
Randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental trials, or cohort studies involving youths under 21 years of age who played in competitive sport were included. Studies were eligible if they compared a NMT program with a control (usual routine or sham exercises) and collected at least one injury outcome. Lower extremity injury was defined as any muscular, ligamentous, or bony injury. The PEDro scale was used to assess risk of bias of the included studies.
Sixteen studies were included. Pooled data from all studies indicated that there was a significant lower extremity injury risk reduction of 42% from NMT programs. Greatest risk reduction was found with a NMT program that was performed two to three