Sports injury prevention programs are an important way to keep kids physically active and injury free. According to University of Connecticut researcher Dr. Lindsay DiStefano, middle school is an ideal time to implement a sports injury prevention program.
Research suggests that improving neuromuscular coordination and control is at the heart of reducing ACL injuries by upwards of 50% or more. ACL Injuries are injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament is located in the knee. ACL injuries can be caused by stretching the ACL too much or from an ACL tear. ACL tears range in severity from a partial acl tear to a complete tear.
Neuromuscular strengthening involves focusing on developing the nerves that control your voluntary muscles. Voluntary muscles include all the muscles in your body that you control like your legs.
There are a variety of ways to improve neuromuscular coordination. For example, this includes things like learning how to properly flex the knee or how to safely land following a jump.
Developing and maintaining good balance is also a very important part of conditioning for injury prevention. Learn more about the research Dr. DiStefano is doing to better understand injury prevention for kids.