Prevention Program Reduces Groin Injuries
The 315 athletes enrolled in the program performed a 20-minute routine consisting of a warmup phase, a dynamic stretching phase, and a pelvic stabilization and strengthening phase. The players did the routine two or three times a week before practices during the preseason. Some voluntarily continued the routine once the season started and others did not, according to principal researcher Michael Gerhardt, MD, Director of the Center for Athletic Hip and Groin Disorders in Santa Monica, Calif., and Team Physician for US Soccer.
Overall, players in the prevention program had 0.44 groin injuries per 1,000 hours of play, while those not in the program had 0.61 injuries per 1,000 hours. “A growing body of research shows that targeted strengthening and stretching programs can reduce the risk of injuries,” Gerhardt says. “We already knew it was possible to reduce ACL tears this way, and now it looks like we can reduce groin injuries with a similar strategy.”
The fact that strengthening the groin area can prevent injuries may not be surprising to athletic trainers, but it can get athletes to buy in. “When you tell them there’s strong data showing that a program can prevent them from getting an injury, it becomes an easier sell,” Gerhardt says.
Gerhardt has submitted an article on the study to the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The “MLS Groin Injury Prevention Protocol” can be downloaded from our Web site at: www.training-conditioning.com/pdf/groin_injury.pdf.