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Soccer Season is Upon Us – Ways to Reduce Injury…Proper Stretching

Source: www.freestockphotos.biz

Source: www.freestockphotos.biz

With outdoor soccer season gearing up (or starting in some areas) you likely have all of the soccer “stuff” ready, carpools organized and are getting a handle on how the season will go.  Including neuromuscular training in youth soccer warm-ups reduces injury rates and could save $2.7-million in health-care costs over one season in Alberta, according to a new study.

An April 18th article in the Globe and Mail highlights the benefits of including neuromusclar training in soccer warm-ups.  Read through the article and see if you can incorporate some of the stretches in your soccer schedule – the benefits will be worth it!

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Neuromuscular training targets strength, agility and balance more than a standard warm-up routine.

“When you have benefit from an intervention and also reduce health-care costs, there’s good on both sides,” said lead author Deborah A. Marshall of the University of Calgary, the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute and the Health Research Innovation Centre in Calgary.

“A lot of new technologies that are introduced are better but cost more,” Marshall said.

The researchers studied data from a randomized trial of 744 youth soccer players, both male and female, between the ages of 13 and 17 during the 2006-07 indoor soccer season in Alberta. The players had been followed through the season and injuries were recorded.

Half of the players were led through a 15-minute warm-up before play, including five minutes of aerobic and dynamic stretching components and 10 minutes of neuromuscular training consisting of eccentric strength, agility and jumping exercises. They were also directed to do 15 minutes of balance training at home using a wobble board.

Players in the comparison group had a “standard of practice” 15-minute warm-up before play, including aerobic components, static and dynamic stretching and a home program that only involved stretching.

As had been previously published, players in the neuromuscular warm-up group had 38 per cent fewer injuries during the season than those in the comparison group.

For the new study, the researchers estimated direct cost savings related to these injuries, including visits to health-care professionals, treatments, surgeries, X-rays, supplies and equipment used by injured players. They added direct costs to the health-care system in Canada to out-of-pocket medical costs incurred by players and their families, which may include physiotherapy, splits, braces, crutches and chiropractic visits.

The researchers estimated that for 58,100 Alberta youth soccer players during one indoor season, there are about 12,000 injuries. Almost 5,000 injuries could be avoided and $2-million in health-care costs saved with the neuromuscular training program, according to the results published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“I perceive savings of 689 Canadian dollars for every 1000 participation hours as very noteworthy, especially considering that the only intervention was a more effective 15min warm-up,” Jeppe Bo Lauersen of the Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen in Denmark said by e-mail.

The training aims to improve muscle co-ordination and dynamic joint control to reduce undesirable loads in specific muscles, tendons, joints and bones, Lauersen said.

In this trial, the neuromuscular training program did have some costs, such as training coaches in how to direct the warm-ups and purchasing the wobble boards for players to use at home, Marshall said.


Source:KATHRYN DOYLE   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/special-warm-ups-may-reduce-injuries-in-youth-soccer-cut-health-care-costs/article29662915/

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