Sports injuries will always be a part of practice and competition, but our goal as Physical Therapists is to reduce this risk in athletes. Risk reduction strategies can be placed into two categories including sport specific training programs (ex. FIFA 11) and pre participation screenings. Physical Therapists aim to identify limitations in an athlete’s mobility, strength, sport specific movements, and performance in order to reduce their risk of in season injuries. These are certainly not a panacea, but instead may identify low hanging fruits which can be resolved with exercise in the off or pre season. Weakness is an impairment which is relatively easy to measure and improve with Physical Therapy treatments. A recent article reports on the importance of lower extremity strength on future injury.
A recent article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the predictive value of a 1 repetition maximum strength test on future onset of lower extremity injury (Case et al. 2020). Authors collected 1 repetition maximum squat testing data on Division I male football, female volleyball, and female softball athletes then followed them over their respective seasons to determine their rate of injury. Athletes with lower squat strength relative to body weight in the pre season were more likely to sustain an injury during their competitive season. Authors also reported cut off ratios for injury risk when squat strength was normalized for body weight. Males and females who scored less than 2.2 and 1.6, respectively, were found to be at a higher risk for injury.