Objective: To analyze the effectiveness of current lower extremity injury prevention programs in basketball athletes, focusing on injury rates of (1) general lower extremity injuries, (2) ankle sprains, and (3) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
Conclusion: In basketball players, prophylactic programs may be effective in reducing the risk of general lower extremity injuries and ankle sprains, yet not ACL injuries.
Why this matters: In the world of physical therapy we have known for awhile that preventative medicine is a great thing. Yes, we treat acute and persistent pain dysfunctions, but all along we are working toward helping to improve the patient’s quality of life in the future by providing them with preventative ideas as well. For example, if we see someone with increased knee valgus due to poor hip muscle control we start them on a strengthening program to help prevent future lower quadrant injuries from occurring. It is nice to see that other medical professionals are starting to see the objective value in preventative medicine too. The results of this study show that preventative interventions can reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries and ankle sprains. So let’s get the word out in the community and remind people that physical therapists are the perfect health care providers to not only treat injuries but to prevent them!