Background A protective effect from neuromuscular training (NMT) has been demonstrated in basketball (Cumps et al, 2007). However, only limited evidence exists linking NMT and improvements in performance (Noyes et al, 2012).
Objectives The aim of this study was to assess for change in performance following the completion of an abridged version of an NMT programme aimed at reducing ankle injury rates in basketball players.
Design A cohort trial where all players were evenly assessed and included in the programme.
Settings Basketball players from two basketball institutions (High school league). 10 International- 14 non-international players (age 16–19 years).
Participants 39 players initially: 34 (12F- 22M) in the end (5 drop-outs).
Intervention Players were assessed on the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and the Agility T Test (ATT) before they undertook 8 weeks of supervised progressive NMT that included balance tasks, jump tasks and cutting maneuvers. Subject's performance markers were re-tested upon completion of the programme.
Main outcome measurements This study suggests that the supervised delivery of an 8-week NMT programme based on injury prevention in basketball results in significant improvements in performance markers.
Results Statistically significant improvement in performance was seen in the SEBT in 11 of the 16 test directions following completion of the NMT (P≤.01). Composite SEBT values showed statistically significant improvement (P≤.05). Improvements in ATT were also seen upon completion of the NMT programme (P≤.05). Analysis of change in SEBT composite scores and ATT times showed no significant difference in improvement between sexes, injury history and playing level (P≥.05). Analysis of left and right legs in SEBT showed significant differences within subjects' Pre NMT (P≤.05), but Post NMT differences were no longer significant (P>.05).
Conclusion This program should be considered as a prevention tool during the pre-season and/or as a key part of the discharged criteria following an ankle injury.
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