Chiropractors Use Exercise Intervention to Reduce Hamstring Injuries Among Professional Cheerleaders

CARMICHAEL, Calif. - April 28, 2011 - Doctors of Chiropractic who provided closed-chain hamstring exercise intervention greatly reduced hamstring injury and associated pains among professional cheerleaders, according to a recent study entitled, "The Effects of a Closed-Chain, Eccentric Training Program on Hamstring Injuries of a Professional Football Cheerleading Team," (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March 2011, Vol. 34, Issue 3, pgs.195-200).

"Each year, professional cheerleaders are exposed to forces and repetitive movements that cause disabling injuries," said Jay Greenstein, D.C., lead author of the study. "Because hamstring injuries -- typically the result of a pull, strain or tear to the muscle -- rank amongst the most common injuries affecting football cheerleaders, we were eager to identify the uncharted benefits that an evidence-based exercise intervention could offer those who suffer from these often difficult-to-treat conditions." 

The season-long research recognized as the first ever professional cheerleading study published in a peer reviewed journal, involved 43 females who were instructed to incorporate elastic band loop eccentric exercises during bi-weekly practices and at least three additional times per week during non-practice days. Throughout the study, a hamstring injury analysis was assessed a total of three times: in June, during team selection; in September, at the start of the season; and in December, at the end of season. The entire group of cheerleaders was exposed to the intervention regardless of the extent of their hamstring injury-related pain during the regular season.

"After the season closed, we found that those who had reported hamstring-related injury pains between June and September showed a significant decrease in pains between September and December due to the closed-chain hamstring exercise intervention," said Dr. Greenstein. "Our study's conclusions will provide sports medicine doctors with an innovative and evidence-based recovery tool for hamstring injuries in the professional cheerleading population." 

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