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Injury prevention methods among athletes: how are they really performed?
  1. G Cerulli1,
  2. A Caraffa1,
  3. F Ponteggia1,
  4. G Potalivo1,
  5. R Rende1,
  6. V Conti2,
  7. E Benvenuti2
  1. 1Physical Medicine-Rehabilitation and Orthopaedics-Traumatology Residency Program, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
  2. 2Italian Olympic Committee, Umbria Section, Perugia, Italy


Background The effectiveness of prevention programmes in diminishing the incidence of ankle and knee ligament injuries has been established and published in literature but we do not know exactly the real diffusion among athletes.

Objective To assess the application of prevention methods.

Design Retrospective Survey.

Setting Youth sport, amateur, professionals and elite teams.

Material and Method Coaches of 176 basketball, handball and volleyball teams (in total 2936 players, 1315 males and 1621 females: average age 15.6 years) in the Umbria region (central Italy) answered an anonymous original questionnaire regarding prevention methods (quantitative evaluation, balance training, landing technique, sport specific movements, video analysis, rapid deceleration and cutting manoeuvre).

Results quantitative evaluations are performed in 26% of the teams; video analysis of sport-specific movements and playing situations are used in 51% of the teams to improve performance but not to prevent injuries (assessing at risk situations or reviewing the injuries); balance training with board is performed by 55% of the teams (an additional 10% use the board only during rehabilitation); sport specific at risk movements like rapid deceleration and crosscut maneouver are reproduced during training respectively in 49% and 42% of the teams while correction of jump landing strategies is not applied; 38% of the trainers declare they are aware of and use prevention methods.

Conclusions Surveys are a fundamental way to know if the prevention measures are employed. These studies should be performed in every sport and in every country, according also by age, sex and level. The knowledge of basic prevention methods and their use by all the teams is a target that should be rapidly obtained with courses for both trainers and athletes. Moreover these results are helpful in combination with epidemiological data to decide the need of interventions, saving resources.

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