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  • Ericka Mizuta, DPT

Injury Prevention for Athletes


With summer coming to an end, school sports are just around the corner. However, with the transition from lazy summer days to a busy athletic season, it is not uncommon for injuries to occur. At Mizuta & Associates Physical Therapy we are now offering athletic injury prevention screens for children, adolescents, and adults to prevent these injuries.

What is the purpose of these screens?

For an athlete, one of the worst things to occur is to be sidelined during the season for an injury. Research has shown however that some of these injuries can be prevented. The best example of this is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. The incidence of ACL injuries is thought to be between 80,000 to 25,000 injuries per year. Most of these injuries, up to 70%, are non-contact injuries and typically occur from agility sports such as soccer, basketball, skiing, and football.1ACL tears often require surgery and result in the athlete being out of sports for at least 6-8 months. Research in the past couple of years has suggested that many non-contact ACL injuries can be prevented by a combination of sport specific strengthening and movement re-training. This means less surgeries and less time lost from your sport just by doing a few exercises.

What do the physical therapists look at during a screen?

Screening will be individualized towards you or your child’s specific sport. For soccer and basketball players, we will likely look at hip strength and mechanics when the patient is jumping. Alternatively, if you or your child plays tennis or swims, we might look at his or her upper body and the strength of his or her rotator cuffs. Different sports require different muscle activation and have different flexibility requirements. Our goal is to individualize you or your child’s program as much as possible to make the healthiest athlete for the specific sport.

How long will they last?

Screenings will be one hour in length. We will review you or your child’s results on specific functional tests and measures and then give exercises to address any deficits that are found.

Will I need to come back?

Depending on what the therapist finds, we may ask you or your child to come back for a couple of follow up sessions. Follow up visits may include manual therapy or a continued exercise progression. Package deals for follow up visits are offered as well.

References:

  1. Logerstedt et al. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Knee Stability and Movement Coordination Impairments: Knee Ligament Sprain. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2010; 40 (4): A1-A37 doi:10.2519/jospt.2010.0303

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