Concussion is a public health issue, fundamental to health promotion and injury prevention. Concussions are prevalent in adolescent athletic competition, in high-collision and non-collision sports. A history of previous concussion increases risk by a factor of three, female gender increases it 1.5 to 2.5 times, and female middle-school soccer players have 22.9 times increased risk during games. Non-collision concussions (indirect) may be primed by altered movement patterns from previous injuries, disruption of cervical proprioception, or musculoskeletal pain. Assessment of dynamic balance and functional movement allows identification of poor movement patterns or control.
PURPOSE: To assess a preventative movement-based warm-up routine designed to re-set aberrant afferent information from various systems (vestibular, somatic, ocular) for a cohort of high school female soccer players with prior concussions.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of convenience consisting of 17 Virginian high school female soccer athletes ages 15 to 18 during 2013-2014 season. Three players had suffered a concussion within the last 6 to 8 months. Athletes were assessed pre-season using the Lower Quarter Y-balance test (LQ-YBT) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Cohort was instructed in a general warm-up placing emphasis on normalizing movement patterns (identified via the YBT and FMS), vestibular ocular reflex, and ACL-prevention exercises, which was performed during the entire season before practices and games.
RESULTS: Sixteen varsity high school female soccer athletes, ages 14 to 18 years, participated. The average FMS composite score was 15±2, with 2 athletes being below the injury risk score of 14, and another 3 scoring right at the cutoff. The difference from side to side for the composite LQ-YBT ranged from 5 - 8cm. A total of 10 athletes had differences, with 6 of the athletes had an anterior difference of ≥4cm, and 6 had a posterior difference of ≥6cm. These levels are predictive of a deficit in dynamic balance. There were no new, or repeat concussions during the soccer season.
CONCLUSIONS: The finding of no new or repeat concussions, suggests that the intervention may have helped and may indicate a new injury prevention paradigm.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Millar, A. Lynn; Harper, Brent A.; Casazza, Jared; Lephew, Cameron; Moore, Meredith; and Schmidt, Timothy, "An Innovative Approach to Decreasing Concussions in Adolescent Female Soccer Athletes: 2370 Board #117 May 29, 9" (2015). Faculty Publications. 668.
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