Benefits of Preventative CareThe primary benefit of preventative care is that it reduces your risk of injury. The National Institutes of Health shared that participation in an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) prehabilitation program consisting of plyometrics exercises and drills, neuromuscular training, muscle strengthening and feedback regarding body mechanics, was able to decrease ACL injuries among female athletes by 88%.
Preventative care is able to decrease your injury risk in a number of ways:
Strengthens MusclesTears and injuries can occur when the muscles surrounding the joint or ligaments are weak. In the case of an ACL, preventative care aims to strengthen not only the quadricep muscles, but also the hamstrings and glutes so that strength is balanced between the front and back of the legs. This reinforces and protects the ACL.
Increases FlexibilityGreater flexibility allows you to reduce your risk of injuries in a variety of ways. Stretching lengthens your muscles, enabling them to work more effectively. It also stimulates circulation, which promotes nutrient transportation, causing your muscles to achieve optimal performance.
Improves Range of MotionBoth flexibility and strengthening exercises allow your joints to move through their full range of motion, which will improve your performance in physical activities. Increased mobility also helps with coordination and balance.
Promotes Safe Athletic EnvironmentOne aspect of preventative care for athletes includes the presence of athletic trainers at practices or near the practice location. Athletic trainers are not only able to develop customized prehabilitation treatment plans for each individual athlete or for entire teams, but they can also monitor the practice environment to ensure that the exercises, drills, and conditioning is safe.
An additional benefit of athletic trainers is that in the case that an injury does occur, they are able to better treat the injury since they saw the injury happen, and they are present to provide immediate medical care.