Is there a way you can prevent future knee damage?

Q: Is there a way you can prevent future knee damage in young athletes?

Start by seeing a specialist such as a sports medicine doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer who can diagnose and treat weak muscle areas in the lower extremity. Commonly implicated muscle groups are weak hips and hamstrings, which can lead to poor landing mechanics and increase knee injury risk. The specialist you work with can identify ways to improve strength thereby helping prevent injury.

Current studies clearly show that specific types of training, such as jumping and landing exercises and learning to pivot properly, help athletes prevent knee injuries. These types of exercises are more beneficial when athletes start young, before reaching skeletal maturity so they develop correct habits that decrease the risk of injury.

Young athletes would benefit from preseason screening programs that identify knee injury risk factors in young “high-risk” athletes who would benefit from targeted training programs. One validated knee injury prevention program I commonly recommend is the Fifa 11 program: www.fifamedicalnetwork.com/lessons/prevention-fifa-11/

 

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