Neuromuscular training improves single-limb stability in young female athletes

Mark V. Paterno, Greg D. Myer, Kevin R. Ford, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Study Design: Controlled single-group pretest/posttest design. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if a 6-week neuromuscular training program designed to decrease the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries would improve single-limb postural stability in young female athletes. We hypothesized neuromuscular training would result in an improvement in postural stability, with the greatest improvement taking place in the medial-lateral direction. Background: Balance training has become a common component of programs designed to prevent ACL injury. Rehabilitation programs can improve postural stability following ACL injury and reconstruction; however, there is limited information available which quantifies improvement of postural stability following neuromuscular training designed to prevent ACL injuries in a healthy population. Methods and Measures: Forty-one healthy female high school athletes (mean age, 15.3 years; age range, 13-17 years) participated in this study. Single-limb postural stability for both lower extremities was assessed with a Biodex Stability System. The neuromuscular training program consisted of three 90-minute training sessions per week for 6 weeks. Following the completion of the training program, each subject was re-evaluated to determine change in total, anterior-posterior, and medial-lateral single-limb stability. Two-way analysis of variance models were used to determine differences between pretraining and posttraining and between limbs. Results: The subjects showed a significant improvement in single-limb total stability (P = .004) and anterior-posterior stability (P = .001), but not medial-lateral stability (P = .650) for both the right and left lower extremity following training. In addition, the subjects demonstrated significantly better total postural stability on the right side as compared to the left (P= .026). Conclusions: A 6-week neuromuscular training program designed to decrease the incidence of ACL injuries improves objective measures of total and anterior-posterior single-limb postural stability in high school female athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Balance
  • Knee
  • Prevention
  • Proprioception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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