Calling all Netballers: Why your landing technique is so important in preventing injury

Recently two Physiotherapists from Peninsula Sports Medicine Group Langwarrin, Emma and Ellie, participated in a clinic run by Peninsula Waves Netball for young netballers at the grass roots level. During the clinic, the netballers were taught the technique behind how to jump, land effectively, decelerate and change direction based on the guidelines set out by the Netball Australia ‘KNEE Program’.

Both Emma and Ellie have a passion for netball and have played for Peninsula Waves in the past, so it was great to combine their passion for netball with their knowledge as physiotherapists to help ensure netballers continue to play the game they love for as long as possible.

Why is injury prevention in netball important?

Netball has one of the highest injury rates per participant of any sport (Fong, 2007). At both an elite and junior level netball injury prevention is vital. During this dynamic fast paced sport, the body is exposed to high forces contributing to lower body injury rates (Mothersole, 2013). A staggering 85% of netball injuries occur at the knee and ankle, of this 45% of these injuries occur during landing (Netball Australia Personal Accident Insurance 2010-14). These statistics highlight just how import the correct jumping and landing technique is to enhance performance and prevent injury.

Conditioning and technique training to effectively mitigate injury risk and improve performance is particularly important amongst the female population (Mothersole, 2013). Recent figures show females are 4-6 times more likely than males to rupture the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and it is estimated that as high as 25% of all major injuries in netball are attributed to ACL alone (Netball Australia, 2017). For netballers this means a costly injury that can result in more than 12 months away from the netball court.

How can you reduce your risk of an injury during netball?

Netball Australia have developed The KNEE Program, aiming to prevent knee injuries from occurring by optimising technique and enhancing efficiency of movement in netball specific landing, change of direction and deceleration . The KNEE program is an adaptable, evidence based, warm up program designed to be implemented at all netball levels; children, recreational and elite.

Below is are some of the key principles as set out by the KNEE PROGRAM which outline how to perform a jump and landing with good technique that, when practiced and implemented, aims to significantly reduce the likelihood of an injury during netball.

 
Jump Take Off
• Feet shoulder width apart
• Feet facing forwards
• Hips Bent
• Knees Bent
• Knees in line with feet
• Use arms to drive momentum

 

Jump Landing

• Hips bent
• Knees bent
• Roll down through feet
• Feet straight ahead
• Knees in line with feet
• Trunk Stable

Studies show that by implementing specialised training programs, such as the KNEE program, injury rates can be dramatically improved. These programs can reduce lower body injuries by up to 50% (Netball Australia, 2017). Furthermore, employing this program as a part of your own training has been found to improve performance measures. This is supported by Hopper et al (2017) whom found a 6 week injury prevention program improved speed, agility, power and balance outcomes. For greatest effect, these programs need to be performed total of > 30 minutes per week (Sugiomoto et al, 2014).

It is never to early or late to start implementing this program as a part of your netball routine. For more information on how to include The KNEE program in your training session or warm up click on the following link : http://knee.netball.com.au/.

Written by Ellie Russo

For more information or to book an appointment contact your local clinic or Book Online.

 
References

The KNEE Program. Retrieved From: http://knee.netball.com.au/

Fong D, Hong Y, Chan L-P, Yung P, and Chan K-M. A systematic review on ankle injury and ankle sprain in sports. Sports Med 37: 73-79, 2007

Hopper et al (2017). Neuromuscular training improves movement competency and physical performance measures in 11-13-Year-Old female netball athletes, Journal of strength and conditioning Research. 1165-1176, 31(5)

Mothersole, G. (2013) Ground Reaction Force Profiles of Specific Jump-Landing Tasks in Females: Development of a systematic and progressive jump landing model, Faculty of health and Environmental Sciences. Retrieved from http://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10292/5695/MothersoleG.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

Sugimoto, et al. (2014). Dosage effects of Neuromuscular training intervention to reduce anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes: Meta-and-sub group analyses, Sports Medicine. 551-562, 44(4)

Netball Australia http://netball.com.au/




Spotlight on Jessica Smith – Physiotherapist

In our latest ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ series, meet Jessica Smith, Physiotherapist at our Rosebud clinic. Our chat revealed how good management of niggling injuries throughout a sporting season can help you achieve great things!

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?

I have always loved working with people, I have a passion for anything sport related and was always interested and intrigued by the human body. Being a physiotherapist enables me to incorporate all of these passions and interests together.

What does being part of community sport mean to you?

Community sport is everything and I strongly encourage as many kids and families to take part in it. Community sport enables the ability to develop strong friendships, promotes healthy living and active lifestyles and brings communities closer together.

What is your philosophy around injury management?

I’m a true believer in injury prevention. There is a huge space for both recreational and elite athletes to improve their performance and prevent injury through appropriately structured exercise. I believe first and foremost the athlete has to take responsibility for their body, their strengths and weaknesses. As physios, we are here then to assist the individual in identifying and minimizing their injury risk and if injured providing the most effective rehabilitation to return to sport, better and stronger.

What is your proudest sporting moment as a player?

I have been playing netball at a recreational level for the past 17 years. This year for the first time I received B grade best and fairest. I believe the difference in my season this year was taking the time each week to manage my niggles through structured exercise and physiotherapy. I worked closely with a strength and conditioning coach and functional physiotherapist which improved my overall fitness and also enabled me to move better which positively enhanced my on court performance.

What is your worst injury and how did you overcome it?

My worst injury was a badly sprained ankle from playing netball. Initially it had me out of the game for four weeks, it probably should have been at least six weeks. I poorly managed my rehabilitation which then lead to overloading issues at my hip. I have since been dealing with ongoing chronic hip pain as a secondary complication to poorly managed ankle sprain. As mentioned above I have been working closely with a physio and strength and conditioning coach to improve my bodies ability to adapt to load and prevent aggravation of my hip pain. My rehabilitation has been ongoing for the past 12mths but I know feel stronger then ever and continue to improve my level of performance.

Who is your sporting hero and what do you admire most about them?

Jessica Gardiner world champion off road, enduro motorcycling rider. I recently had the privilege of working closely with Jess at the international enduro competition in France. Jess completed the 6 day competition taking out the Aussie world Champion title alongside Tayla Jones and Jemma Wilson after sustaining a fracture to her finger on the first day. I admire her strength and resilience as an athlete and overall positive attitude despite having to ride with severe pain and ongoing aggravation of her injury. Her overall focus and determination was inspirational to all.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation

 

To make an appointment with Jess, call our Rosebud clinic on 5986 3655 or Book Online

 




What is Myofascia and what is it’s role in your body?

Shinya Yoshida, Remedial Massage Therapist at our Langwarrin Clinic, explains Myofascia and it’s role in muscle function.

When I was a little boy, my parents asked me to step on their feet almost every night before the bed time. They always told me, “oh dear, thank you, my body feels so much lighter!”

In Japan, where the concept of reflexology is commonly accepted, stimulating on feet is believed to have positive effects on the body. Besides the concept of reflexology, current science demonstrates how the human body is connected from one place to the other. The Myofascia is one of the crucial networks of the body to function as a whole.

So…

What is Myofascia?

The Myofascia is a thin layer which covers and wraps around the muscle. You can imagine the Myofascia is like a wetsuit covering and protecting your whole body. Since it covers from the superficial to a deep layer of the body, it is also considered a second body framework. Myofascia has a soft texture, and because of this, can get atrophied (deteriorate) or adhered (stuck). This tissue atrophy and adhesion can cause pain or stiffness which may result in decreasing muscular functionality.

What does the Myofascia do?

The Myofascia plays several important roles in our body.

  1. Wraps the tissues to shape them into groups and connect them each other, supporting body posture.
  2. Prevents friction between the tissues by covering the surface of muscles.
  3. The triple-layer-construction (Endomysium, Perimysium, Epimysium) allows the muscular movement and delivers power through the body.

Since the Myofascia connects the whole body, adhesion of the fascia can limit the movements of the muscle. (Imagine when you wear a very tight wetsuit, your movement is restricted!).

By freeing up the fascia, the surrounded muscle will regain its movements and functionality. For example, when lower back pain is present, treatment on not only the pain source, but also on myofascia around the painful site such as the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors can decrease the symptoms.

I conducted some research to see how we can feel the myofascial network in the body. Participants of the study were asked to roll a golf ball on their feet and measure flexibility of the hamstrings and the lower back before and after the practice. Interestingly, that flexibility was increased in most of the participants. Further studies show that myofascial release on the feet can help or prevent clinical conditions such as lower back pain or hamstring strain.

As stepping on my parents feet may have relieved myofascial tensions and free up their muscles on the back and legs, proper treatments on myofascia can improve and maintain the musculoskeletal functions.

To make an appointment with Shinya at our Langwarrin Clinic go our Make a Booking page or call the clinic on 9789 1233.