Can sports injuries be prevented- Part 3 – Injury Prevention Pyramid – The above diagrams are slight variations on proposed injury prevention models which aim to prioritise the strategies to minimise injuries and be successful. Again, it is easy to see the number of factors that contribute to injury prevention and again there is no set formula for what works. Despite all the evidence and research into sport there is still injuries every match which affect the physical and mental wellbeing of athletes.
Injury Prevention Programs
Injury prevention programs have been developed and implemented in many sports. Some of these include Netball Australia Knee program, FIFA 11+ program, PEP program, AFL Footy first program, The Throwers 10 program and many others. These programs have been developed to minimise the risk of serious injuries in inexperienced and junior athletes. They do this through the following:
- Increase strength in key muscles to stabilise joints
- Improve neuromuscular control and proprioception of particular joints
- Improve motor patterning and movement control of sport-specific movements
- Train adaptations or movement variability and difficulty.
These programs have shown a 40% reduction of serious injury, 26% reduction in time lost to injury, 50% reduction in risk of ACL and 30% reduction in hamstring strains.
So, if these programs are so beneficial why are they not implemented on a regular basis? This becomes challenging and is often a result of the following
- Lack of coach education– often local sports coaches are volunteer parents so are unaware of the existence of these program and not confident in implementing them into their own sessions
- Difficulty of exercises– often the exercises in these are challenging and can cause some delayed muscle soreness so some athletes are reluctant to do this on a regular basis
- Time constraints– these programs often take 10-20 mins to complete which can occupy a significant chunk of a junior sports session and can have some athletes complaining for boredom and coaches not having enough time to work with athletes or other priority areas.
Any injury prevention program is only as effective as its implementation. If these are implemented consistently and regularly the benefits are significantly better. Working with experienced coaches, S&C coaches, Physios and other well-trained staff can help young or inexperienced coaches modify these programs to suit particular sports or situations to get the benefits of the program without compromising their integrity. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the author
Stay Safe and enjoy your sport.
Meanwhile, anyone can reach out to staff members at (02) 6210 0060 to ask questions or schedule an in-person appointment.