Athletes' physiological characteristics are fundamental both in terms of performance and injuries prevention. One of those is flexibility. Using an easy and cheap method, goniometry, estimating active knee range of motion (ROM) through the whole training and competing season, we can possibly lower the incidence of posterior thigh muscle injuries.
Purpose The aim of our study was to assess the effects of repeated, on a regular basis, active knee ROM measurements in order to prevent posterior thigh muscles injuries (POTMI).
Methods During 2006–2008 we followed up 100 Greek athletes (elite and non-elite) whose active knee ROM was measured in both sides. We estimated the active knee ROM related to their sport (runners-jumpers/sprinters-throwers), their performance (elite and non-elite ones) and their posterior thigh muscle injury rate.
Results Jumpers/sprinters were found to have a statistically significant higher active knee ROM (>71°) in comparison with the runners (69.3°) and throwers (69.4°) group.
Elite athletes' active knee ROM was higher than non-elite ones' and the difference reached statistical difference. Finally elite athletes were found to have fewer and less severe injuries than the non-elite ones.
Conclusion Our results suggest that
Jumpers/sprinters have generally higher active knee ROM than other track and field athletes.
Elite athletes were found to have higher active knee ROM than non-elite ones. That seems to protect them from injuries of the hamstring muscles.
Active knee ROM measurement can be an easy and practical method of follow-up and a useful tool for injury prevention.
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