Study Hopes to Eliminate Many Athletic Injuries

Study Hopes to Eliminate Many Athletic Injuries

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Ed Yeates ReportingDon't be surprised this summer to see young athletes jumping up and down on what is called a portable power plate. They'll be part of a unique two year study that just might come up with a way to eliminate many sports injuries.

Athlete Miles Cooper is hopping up and down on a power platform or plate to see if he can improve stability without sacrificing performance. The system at the Orthopoedic Specialty Hospital or TOSH, as it's called, breaks down everything he does into electronic points of movement and stress on his joints.

Steve Swanson, TOSH Researcher: "There's certain positions where an athlete has trouble stabilizing their center mass so their knee will not get into a knock knee position, and that has been shown to be associated with a higher risk for injury."

ACL injuries alone cost this country's health care system 850 million dollars per year. They also bench star athletes, often during the most critical games or events when teams count on their performance. This two year study will collect a lot of data showing whether this system can successfully measure how athletes are more vulnerable to injury, which positions in movement place them at greater risk.

The information could end up as a recipe in the hands of coaches. Trainers could teach players how to stabilize the body's center of mass so they don't even have to think about it during the heat of competition.

Steve Swanson: "You're hopefully more powerful but also more stable. And when you're more powerful and more stable, you're going to be better at playing whatever sport you may be playing."

The platform is only thirty by forty inches and weighs about 45 pounds, which means you can take it out in the field where the athlete is actually training. Out in the field athletes could take the stability test in less than ten minutes. TOSH will test 2,000 athletes from 14 to 16 years of age, tracking them over a two-year period.

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