Extended-duration ACL training program retains movement quality
MedWire News: Injury prevention programs designed to reduce the risk for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury significantly improves movement control, research shows.
However, only the extended-duration training program results in retained overall movement control measurements, report investigators.
"This suggests that the training duration may be an important factor to consider in designing and implementing injury prevention programs," write Darin Padua (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA) and colleagues in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Learning new motor skills is typically defined as a permanent change in the individual's capability in performing a task, and these new skills are measured with retention tests, they explain.
In this study, the researchers evaluated the duration of a lower extremity injury prevention program to affect the retention of movement technique improvement in 140 individuals on 15 youth soccer teams.
The goal of the training program was to alter movement patterns, such as knee flexion, knee valgus, and hip motion, in order to reduce the risk for ACL injuries.
The soccer teams were stratified by age and gender, and randomly allocated to participate in a generalized intervention or stratified intervention. Seven teams underwent a 3-month training program and eight teams a 9-month training program. The athletes performed the injury-prevention programs as part of their normal warm-up routine.
Of the 140 athletes, 84 participants, including 33 in the short-duration and 51 in the extended-duration training programs, showed improvements in the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) when measured from baseline to post-test.
Despite the improvements in both training groups, only the extended-duration group retained the improvements in the LESS when measured 3 months after completing the injury prevention program.
Participants randomly assigned to the 3-month training program regressed back to their pretraining levels of movement quality after the 3-month detraining period.
"It may be necessary to incorporate longer duration programs to ultimately achieve long-term changes in movement control," write Padua and colleagues.
The researchers add that these results have important implications for the design and practical implementation of injury prevention programs.
By MedWire Reporters