Purpose: Mounting evidence supports the implementation of neuromuscular training (NMT) interventions to improve biomechanical profiles for prevention of musculoskeletal injury in dynamic pivoting athletes. Research has demonstrated there is a clear link between functional movement behavior and vulnerability to injury. However, there is limited research examining the capacity of NMT to positively influence pathomechanical movement behavior. This investigation assessed the strength, balance, and functional biomechanics of uninjured adolescent female athletes following an eight-week NMT intervention, which was conducted in order to expand upon research aimed at injury prevention in the lower quarter. Methods: 37 female soccer players ages 10 - 15 participated. Hip strength was measured with hand dynamometry, and single-leg stance modified balance (SLSM) was measured in multiple conditions. A 3-Dimensional Dynamic Movement Assessment (3D-DMA) system assessed lower quarter joint excursion during select functional loading tasks. Participants completed an 8-week, 16-session NMT intervention followed by repeated measurements. Results: Following the intervention, significant improvements were found in: hip abduction strength bilaterally (p = 0.000), hip extension strength bilaterally (p = 0.000), SLSM in eyes-closed condition bilaterally (p = 0.000), and DMA functional outcomes in the Full Squat Test (p = 0.019), Step-Up Test (p = 0.007), Single-Leg Squat Test (p = 0.000), and Single-Leg Hop Test (p = 0.000). Conclusions: These data indicate an 8-week NMT intervention is sufficient to elicit positive neuromuscular adaptations in the lower quarter associated with pathomechanical loading patterns. Such adaptations support improved function across a diversity of complex sport-related movements. More research is needed to further develop the efficacy of NMT interventions in various at-risk populations across a range of time scales.
Cite this paper
Parker, C. , Robinson, K. , Nessler, T. , Sells, P. and Lydon, K. (2022). Investigation of an Eight-Week Neuromuscular Training Intervention on Biomechanical Parameters of the Lower Quarter in Adolescent Female Soccer Players. Open Access Library Journal, 9, e8239. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1108239.
Kiapour, A.M., Kiapour, A., Goel, V.K., et al. (2015) Uni-Directional Coupling between Tibiofemoral Frontal and Axial Plane Rotation Supports Valgus Collapse Mechanism of ACL Injury. Journal of Biomechanics, 48, 1745-1751.
Beynnon, B.D., Vacek, P.M., Newell, M.K., et al. (2014) The Effects of Level of Competition, Sport, and Sex on the Incidence of First-Time Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42, 1806-1812.
Mather, R.C., Koenig, L., Kocher, M., et al. (2013) Societal and Economic Impact of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 95, 1751- 1759. https://doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.L.01705
Herzog, M.M., Marshall, S.W., Lund, J.L., Pate, V., Mack, C.D. and Spang, J.T. (2017) Incidence of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction among Adolescent Females in the United States, 2002 through 2014. JAMA Pediatrics, 171, 808-810.
Crichlow, R.J., Andres, P.L., Morrison, S.M., Haley, S.M. and Vrahas, M.S. (2006) Depression in Orthopaedic Trauma Patients. Prevalence and Severity. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 88, 1927-1933.
Garcia, G.H., Wu, H.H., Park, M.J., et al. (2016) Depression Symptomatology and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Incidence and Effect on Functional Outcome—A Prospective Cohort Study. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44, 572-579. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546515612466
Wu, H.H., Liu, M., Dines, J.S., Kelly, J.D. and Garcia, G.H. (2016) Depression and Psychiatric Disease Associated with Outcomes after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. World Journal of Orthopedics, 7, 709-717.
Brophy, R.H., Schmitz, L., Wright, R.W., et al. (2012) Return to Play and Future ACL Injury Risk after ACL Reconstruction in Soccer Athletes from the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON) Group. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 2517-2522. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546512459476
Ardern, C.L., Osterberg, A., Tagesson, S., Gauffin, H., Webster, K.E. and Kvist, J. (2014) The Impact of Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport and Recreational Activities after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48, 1613-1619. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2014-093842
Wiggins, A.J., Grandhi, R.K., Schneider, D.K., et al. (2016) Risk of Secondary Injury in Younger Athletes after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44, 1861-1876.
Pfeifer, C.E., Beattie, P.F., Sacko, R.S. and Hand, A. (2018) Risk Factors Associated with Non-Contact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 13, 575-587.
Sugimoto, D., Alentorn-Geli, E., Mendiguchia, J., Samuelsson, K., Karlsson, J. and Myer, G.D. (2015) Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Characteristics of Male Athletes: Implications for the Development of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Programs. Sports Medicine, 45, 809-822.
Pollard, C.D., Sigward, S.M. and Powers, C.M. (2010) Limited Hip and Knee Flexion during Landing Is Associated with Increased Frontal Plane Knee Motion and Moments. Clinical Biomechanics, 25, 142-146.
Silvers, H.J. and Mandelbaum, B.R. (2007) Prevention of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in the Female Athlete. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41, i52-i59.
Dingenen, B. and Gokeler, A. (2017) Optimization of the Return-to-Sport Paradigm after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Critical Step Back to Move Forward. Sports Medicine, 47, 1487-1500.
Stone, E.E., Butlar, M., McRuer, A., Gray, A., Marks, J. and Skubic, M. (2013) Evaluation of the Microsoft Kinect for Screening ACL Injury. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Osaka, 3-7 July 2013, 4152-4155.