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To demonstrate the response to a proprioceptive training model during a 1-week rehabilitation regime. The techniques were demonstrated on a college-aged female basketball player who had injured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) several weeks earlier. The athlete was tested, trained, and then retested during her semester break.
The ACL injury has become a fairly common occurrence in the world of athletics. Knowing this, the athletic trainer is constantly searching for ways to improve the rehabilitative process. New research demonstrates that rehabilitation should be based on proprioception. The ACL not only serves a mechanical role by limiting passive knee mobility but also serves a sensory role through the mechanoreceptors deep in its tissue, which communicate with the neuromuscular system to provide proprioceptive feedback during training and competition.
Partial or complete tear of the ACL.
The athlete was treated with a rehabilitation protocol based on proprioception, which uses reactive neuromuscular training.
Our rehabilitation focused on the muscular imbalances about the hip, knee, and ankle. The athlete achieved dramatic decreases in muscular imbalances about the hip and knee in only 1 week of rehabilitation through reactive neuromuscular training.
The athlete had significant gains in strength over her brief period of therapy. However, these gains can be viewed only as neuromuscular changes and not strictly as gains in strength. The athlete returned to postseason competition under the supervision of her surgeon, who later recommended surgical reconstruction at the completion of the basketball season with rehabilitation during the offseason.