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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018 Apr;28(4):1451-1460. doi: 10.1111/sms.13034. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Neuromuscular training reduces lower limb injuries in elite female basketball players. A cluster randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.


The study was a two-armed, parallel group, cluster randomized controlled trial in which 15 teams (160 players) were assigned to either an experimental group (EG, 8 teams n = 86), which warmed-up with bodyweight neuromuscular exercises, or a control group (CG, 7 teams, n = 74) that performed standard tactical-technical exercises before training. All injuries during the 2015-2016 regular season were counted. Epidemiologic incidence proportion and incidence rate were also calculated. Countermovement jump (CMJ) and composite Y-Excursion Balance test (YBT) were used to assess lower limb strength and postural control. A total of 111 injuries were recorded. Chi-square test detected statistically significant differences between EG and CG (32 vs 79, P = .006). Significant differences in the injuries sustained in the EG (21 vs 11, P = .024) and CG (52 vs 27, P = .0001) during training and matches, respectively, were observed. Significant differences in post-intervention injuries were observed between in EG and CG during training (21 vs 52, P < .0001) and matches (11 vs 27, P = .006). Significant differences in epidemiologic incidence (0.37 vs 1.07, P = .023) and incidence rate (1.66 vs 4.69, P = .012) between the EG and the CG were found. Significant improvement in CMJ (+9.4%, P < .0001; d = 1.2) and composite YBT (right: +4.4%, P = .001, d = 1.0; left: +3.0%, P = .003; d = 0.8) for the EG was noted. Significant differences in post-intervention CMJ (+5.9%, P = .004) and composite YBT scores (right, +3.7%, P = .012; left, +2.3%, P = .007) between the EG and the CG were observed. Including bodyweight neuromuscular training into warm-up routines reduced the incidence of serious lower limb injuries in elite female basketball players.


basketball; epidemiology; injury prevention; postural control; sports injury

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