Senior exercise science major Jazmin Penado has always been intrigued by knee injuries as they are very comon in sports. She presented at Piedmont College’s first annual P.R.I.D.E. Day, she presented on ways to avoid and how to combat different types of knee injuries.
“There’s been an increased number of female athletes participating in sports throughout the nation and with an increased number of participants comes an increased number of knee injuries,” Penado said. “My main goal is to determine the relationship between knee strength, coordination, and stability by a history of knee injury in female collegiate softball players.”
Knee injuries have been prevalant over the past decade, no matter the sport. Whether it be contact or non-contact knee injuries are something that will always be a pivotal concern in a players career.
“A study by the NCAA states that 42 percent of all injuries of the lower extremities came by non-contact, and 19 percent of those were ACL injuries,” said Penado.
Knee injuries, no matter the severity, can affect the player’s career and greatly determine the athletes’ performance. Knee stability and strength have a significant influence on a player’s injury risk; prior injuries have a significant effect on an athletes chance of re-injury. Neuromuscular and strength training of the knee muscles have a significant impact on a player’s chance of injury. Neuromuscular training allows the athlete to know their limits and thus act in a more assertive matter.
“Not only do the muscles become stronger, but the ligaments themselves and the bones are able to absorb more shock and therefore resist all the stress you put upon it.”
Stability in the knee is something that has equal importance as strength. Without stabilization, the muscles become obsolete and are useless.
The multiple tests that Penado ran focused on different aspects, as in single-leg drop tests and single-leg press, both focused on knee stability and their strength across her field of participants amongst the collegiate softball players.
“There are many factors that go into an athletes success, and the strength and stabilization of the knee joint could be the difference between a successful season or a season spent on the injured list and in the training room.” Penado said.