ATHLETES AND INJURIES: The global question of prevention


All the countries in the world share the challenge of keeping athletes healthy, and in April, sports medicine experts from across the globe met in Monaco to discuss the best ways to address those challenges at the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport. LER’s exclusive coverage of this event details clinical and scientific progress toward prevention of lower extremity injuries from ankle sprains to hamstring strains.

By Jordana Bieze Foster

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Studies explore implementation options for sports injury prevention programs

Even if an injury prevention program is effective under controlled study conditions, that effectiveness doesn’t always translate to the real world. That’s why some researchers are now working to identify the most effective strategies for implementing prevention programs and the most common barriers to implementation.

Specialization, weekly training loads contribute to risk in youth athletes

Sports specialization and high weekly training volumes are associated with increased risk of injury in youth athletes, according to research from Loyola University in Chicago.

Research downplays role of shoe design elements in maintaining runners’ health

Runners today aren’t like the runners of the 1970s. They’re far less likely to be male, thin, or dedicated to the sport. And yet, the medical literature suggests that running injury rates are essentially unchanged.

Education before ACL reconstruction reduces rates of reinjury in first year

Two hours of patient education before anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction can significantly reduce rates of reinjury in the first year after surgery, according to research from Funabashi Orthopedic Hospital in Japan.

Support builds for eccentric strengthening to prevent hamstring strains in soccer

Research is accumulating in support of eccentric strengthening exercises to prevent hamstring injury in soccer players, and possibly to screen for athletes at risk, according to several studies presented at the IOC conference in Monaco.

UTC monitoring of patellar tendon load keeps Australian footballers in the game

Using ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC) to monitor tendon load in Australian Football League players has led to no games missed due to patellar tendinopathy in four years, according to Sam Rosengarten, a sports physiotherapist at Recover Sports Medicine in Melbourne who has worked most recently with the Carlton Football Club.

Poor dynamic postural stability predicts risk of ankle injury in ball team athletes

Poor dynamic ankle stability is predictive of injury risk in athletes, but exercises designed to improve dynamic balance may not be effective in athletes with chronic ankle instability, according to separate studies presented at the IOC conference in Monaco.

Late-breaking ACL data raise questions about use of landing-based screening

A presenter from Norway gave IOC conference attendees a sneak peek at his group’s latest findings and generated considerable discussion by suggesting that many aspects of drop-landing mechanics are not predictive of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in elite female athletes.