How the use of wearable neuromuscular devices could cut down cruciate ligament injuries
New research unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) argues that the utilisation of wearable neuromuscular (WNM) devices among female footballers could cut down the occurrence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The study ascertained functional improvements in athletes who used the devices in combination with a regular training program.
The study made use of 79 elite youth and collegiate female soccer players (age 12-25) equipped with WNM devices that applied bi-lateral, topical pressure to the medial quadriceps and hamstring muscles. The athletes underwent seven to nine weeks of pre-season training with the device and were exposed to strength and conditioning exercises and on-field team practices.
Michael John Decker, PhD, from the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, said: “Our study showed that training with a wearable neuromuscular (WNM) device improved postural control in athletes, without limiting performance. Moreover, no athletes in the study experienced an ACL injury during training or over the course of the following season.
“Research has shown female soccer players have a three times greater risk of ACL injury compared to males, yet only a small portion of soccer coaches are currently utilising ACL injury risk reduction programs,” added Decker. “We hope these devices offer coaches a practical means to overcome participation barriers, opening the door for more organisations and teams to implement similar programs.”
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