Effectiveness of a 6-week injury prevention program on kinematics and kinetic variables in adolescent female soccer players: A pilot study
BACKGROUND: Incidence of knee injuries in female soccer players is 2-6 times that of male counterparts. The objective was to determine whether an injury prevention program incorporated into the athlete’s regular soccer practice is effective for improving landing mechanics.
METHODS: Two competitive adolescent female soccer teams (n = 30) participated in the study. One team served as the control group while the other team participated in a 6-week injury prevention program. Muscle strength, muscle length, and 3-dimensional kinematics and kinetics during a single legged drop jump and single legged squat task were measured pre and post-intervention. A 2 x 2 repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA’s) were used to compare strength and flexibility measures as well as knee joint kinematics and kinetics. Significant multivariate results were followed with appropriate univariate analyses.
RESULTS: Quadriceps strength increased significantly (p=.004) following the injury prevention program while other strength and flexibility measurements were unchanged. Differences in knee joint angles and moments during the drop jump and squat tasks showed varied results with a tendency for improvement in the intervention group.
CONCLUSIONS: Flexibility and strength do not appear to be affected by a short injury prevention program. Knee joint injury predisposing factors improved minimally but did not reach statistical significance with a short injury prevention program integrated as warm-up into soccer practice. Further research with a larger sample size is needed to explore the effectiveness of such programs.