COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Female soccer athletes who trained with a wearable neuromuscular device experienced improved postural control without limiting performance and had a reduced ACL injury risk, according to results presented here.
“We noticed that there was improvement in motor control with the wearable neuromuscular device and reduced ACL injury risk in female soccer athletes,” Michael John Decker, PhD, said in his presentation at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
A wearable neuromuscular device that applied bilateral, topical pressure to the medial quadriceps and hamstrings muscles was used among 79 elite youth and collegiate female soccer athletes during 7 weeks to 9 weeks of preseason training consisting of strength and conditioning exercises and on-field team practices, according to researchers. Researchers measured postural control in 15 athletes with and without the wearable neuromuscular device before and after the training program, while researchers measured performance in 25 athletes without the wearable neuromuscular device before and after the training program. Researchers also calculated ACL injury rates, absolute risk reduction and the number needed to prevent one ACL injury between the wearable neuromuscular intervention group and 11 control groups identified from 10 studies.
Results showed participants who trained with the wearable neuromuscular device had 18% lower peak medial ground reaction forces, 12% lower medial-lateral center of pressure velocities and 18% longer landing phase durations. Compared to participants who did not use the wearable neuromuscular device, researchers found a 2% lower peak vertical ground reaction force, 6% lower net center of pressure velocities and 10% lower medial-lateral center of pressure displacements for landing and balance performance among patients who wore the device. Results showed improvements of 7% for speed, 22% for power and 14% for endurance after training with the wearable musculoskeletal device.
Researchers noted the absolute risk reduction lowered 1.5% on average and statistically improved in nine of the 11 control group comparisons. Absolute risk reduction also corresponded to a relative risk reduction of 100%, according to results. To prevent one ACL injury during the course of a competitive season, a needed-to-treat analysis showed 92 female soccer athletes would need to be trained with the wearable neuromuscular device. – by Casey Tingle
Decker MJ, et al. Paper #133. Presented at: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting; July 7-11, 2016; Colorado Springs, Colo.
Disclosure: Decker reports he is a paid consultant for Topical Gear LLC and Opedix LLC.