Are you worried that you or your athlete may be at risk for injury?
Here are five screens, which can help you determine risk of injury and need for a physical therapy prevention program.
- Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT)
Screen for: Ankle Sprain and Lower Leg Injury
According to Plisky et al, the SEBT is a reliable and good predictive test for lower extremity injury in young athletes. The results of the study concluded that athletes with a difference of 4cm in forward reach were more likely to have an injury to the lesser reach side.
Test: Begin with standing in the middle of a star marked with tape on the floor, and reach with the opposite leg in all directions of the tape, marking where the toe is able to reach. Repeat on the other leg and mark where the toe reaches. Check the markings to see if any distances between both legs are greater than 4cm. Should there be a difference of 4cm or more, between the legs in any direction, this may indicate risk of injury.
- Hyperextension Test
Screen for: Ligamentous Injury of the Knee and Elbow
In a study by Myer et al, it was found that hyperextension of a joint may indicate increased risk for ligamentous injury for the knee, elbow, and fingers.
Athletes that have hyperextension at the knees or elbows are at risk for stress to the ligaments and injury. Common ligamentous injuries include tearing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
Test: Have the athlete stand straight with their knees straight and see if they have any hyperextension. The same goes with the elbow straighten and see if there is any hyperextension.
- Hop Test
Screen for: Knee Stability/Ligamentous Injury of the Knee
Hamilton et al, found that the hop test is a strong tool to predict dynamic knee stability to obtain information about the neuromuscular and strength aspects of the knee to determine risk. Asymmetries between the knees and hips, and excursion of the hips and/or knees are determining factors for risk of injury due to the instability of the landing and knee joint demonstrated by these signs.
Test: Have the athlete hop with both feet leg vertical in the air, then hop with one foot; watch their take off and landing. Should their knee bow in or excessively out they are at risk for knee injury. Below is an example of poor landing mechanics that is stressing the joints.
- Upper Quadrant Y Balance Test (UQYBT)
Screen for: Shoulder Injury
Westrick et al, performed a study on the UQYBT as a measure for functional performance and risk of injury on a sample of college students average