Can a 10-minute injury prevention program decrease injuries in military cadets? A JUMP-ACL study

San Diego, CA – April 19, 2013– Anthony Beutler, MD, Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD, presented, “Can a 10-minute injury prevention program decrease injuries in military cadets? A JUMP-ACL study” today at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in San Diego, Calif.

The conference, with more than 1,400 sports medicine physicians from across the United States and 10 countries around the world featured presentations on advances in sports medicine. Dr. Beutler presented on the controversial topic of musculoskeletal injury prevention.

Dr. Beutler, who serves as the Director of USU’s Injury Prevention Research Laboratory, investigated whether a specialized warm-up performed by freshman cadets in basic training at the US Military Academy would prevent lower extremity musculoskeletal injuries injuries, a major problem for the US military. Musculoskeletal injuries are the #1 cause of lost duty in the US military and are especially problematic in training and deployed environments. A multitude of programs have been developed to reduce injury rates, with variable success rates noted in medical literature. Dr. Beutler’s intervention was a dynamic integrated movement enhancement (DIME) program, a 10 minute series of warm up exercises designed to improve the balance, strength, and movement patterns of basic cadets.

The cadets were randomized to participate either in the DIME warm-up or a more traditional Army warm-up. The DIME cadets were further randomized into a “supervised” group (with close monitoring by physical therapists or athletic trainers) and an “unsupervised” group. Dr. Beutler’s study team found that there were fewer overall injuries across the total study period in athletes in the supervised DIME group compared to those participating in the traditional active warm-up, but that cadets in the unsupervised DIME group had a paradoxical increase in knee ligament injuries. He concluded that the supervised DIME program was effective in reducing injury risk among freshman cadets, but was relatively costly in comparison to a modest injury reduction risk.

Dr. Beutler said, “There’s little doubt that injury prevention programs work, but we are still working to figure out how to implement them in an optimal, cost-effective way. Right now the biggest gap in our understanding is a rapid, accurate way to screen for those who are highest risk for future injury. On going studies in our lab are aimed at identifying the best way to perform that initial injury risk screening.”

About the AMSSM: The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, collaboration and fellowship within the field of sports medicine. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM now comprises more than 2,300 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

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