malliou - Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal...

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Unformatted text preview: Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 17 (2004) 101104 101 IOS Press Proprioceptive training (balance exercises) reduces lower extremity injuries in young soccer players P. Malliou, A. Gioftsidou, G. Pafis, A. Beneka and G. Godolias Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece Abstract . The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of balance training on proprioception and on lower limb injuries. The sample consisted of 100 young soccer players, from four different soccer teams. Two teams were the experimental group, ( N = 50), and two the control group ( N = 50). During the competition period, the experimental group followed a proprioception training program, 2 times per week, with 20 minute sessions. The frequency and the characteristics of injuries occurred were also recorded. Balance tests on the stability system (Biodex) were performed before and after the competition period. For the balance tests repeated measures Anova was used and the results revealed significant differences between the pre and post training measures for the experimental group. Also, the results revealed an important difference between the experimental and control group in the incidence rate of the injuries. Finally, an important difference was found between the experimental and control group in moderate severity injuries. The application of a specific balance training program on healthy young soccer players can improve their proprioception and prevent low limb injuries. Keywords: Proprioception training, soccer, balance boards, lower limb injuries 1. Introduction Soccer is one of the most popular sports worldwide, with an increasing number of active players [8,11,16, 21]. Furthermore, soccer is a contact sport associated with a large number of injuries [6,12,13]. These in- juries involve not only adult players but also sixteen and eighteen year old soccer players [16,19]. To prevent such injuries, rehabilitation spets propose specific exercise programs: strengthening ex- ercise programs to restore muscle imbalances, stretch- ing exercise programs to decrease muscle stiffness and balance exercise programs to improve propriocep- tion [2,4,7,17]. The term proprioception was described by Sher- rington [20], as the awareness of body segment posi- Address for correspondence: Asimenia Gioftsidou, PhD, Depart- ment of Physical Education and Sports Science, Democritus Univer- sity of Thrace, 69100 Komotini, Greece. Tel.: +30 25310 39662; Fax: +30 25310 39623; E-mail: agioftsi@phyed.duth.gr. tions and orientations. Recent rehabilitation bibliogra- phy supports that balance exercise programs improve proprioception not only during the rehabilitation phase but also during the competition period. Balance im- provement protects athletes from forthcoming injuries effectively [4,9,10,25]....
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malliou - Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal...

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