By Jordana Bieze Foster
A six-week progressive neuromuscular training program is associated with significant improvement in single-leg balance on unstable surfaces in female high school basketball players, according to research from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY.
Prompted by a girls’ high school basketball coach who was concerned about preventing injuries in his players, the researchers assessed balance, strength, and self-reported function in all 15 team members before and after completion of a six-week neuromuscular training program. The eight-minute program, incorporated into the team’s regular warm-up three days per week during the competitive season, emphasized balance on unstable surfaces while performing basketball-specific skills.
After completing the program, the athletes demonstrated significant improvement from baseline for the Balance Error Scoring System single-leg stance on foam and for the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure global score.
“These tasks may have transference to athletic activities, but more research is needed,” said Kevin Mooney, a doctoral student in physical therapy at Bellarmine, who presented the findings in February at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Mooney K, Zuber C, Klenke J, et al. A neuromuscular balance training program for female high school basketball athletes to prevent ankle sprains. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2015;45(1):A55-A56.