HGB offers preventative sports training camp starting in June

This summer, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital will again be offering AcCeLerate, a sports training camp designed to help prevent knee injuries and increase performance in young athletes. It's estimated that more than 100,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries alone occur nationwide in individuals between 15 and 25 years of age. High school athletes have the highest rate of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions when compared to any other age group. This is due to an increased number of younger athletes participating in sports and the neuromuscular imbalances that can occur in their lower extremities.

Developed by the HGB Rehabilitation Department, AcCeLerate is a neuromuscular training program designed specifically to increase athletic performance while decreasing lower extremity injuries. Neuromuscular training programs have been proven to decrease knee ligament injuries in athletes and improve performance. The program trains the nerves and muscles to work together to help better stabilize the knee against the forces put on them during athletic activity.

"When the muscles and nerves protecting the joint are not strong enough or can't react quickly, the ligaments are subject to greater forces, potentially causing a ligament injury," states Derek Sanders, HGB's licensed athletic trainer. "Because two-thirds of all ACL tears are caused by a sudden change in direction or poor landing mechanics, AcCeLerate helps athletes focus on these imbalances."

With high school students having the highest percentage of ACL repairs – females in particular are 10 times more likely to experience the injury – studies have shown that participating in a well-designed, preventative training program significantly decreases the risk of these injuries. These programs can also lead to significant improvements in strength, speed and agility, and overall performance.

"I am excited that an injury prevention program is now available at HGB," states Meredith Fabing, DO, one of HGB's orthopedic surgeons and a specialist in sports medicine. "Sports injuries are increasing as participation increases and this program offers a proven method to decrease ligament injuries."

AcCeLerate is designed to progress the athlete from technique development to performance enhancement. The program focuses on five key areas including: Dynamic Warm-Up (prepares the body for activity),
Plyometric/Jump Drills (develops muscle control and strength), Speed and Agility (increases skill level and condition of the body), High Intensity Strength Training (focuses on core, rotator cuff, scapular, and overall muscular efficiency), and Flexibility Training (reduces injury and muscle soreness).

"I have cared for athletic injuries for more than 30 years," states John Thiel, DO, FAOAO, FACOS, and orthopedic surgeon with HGB's Charlotte Orthopedics. "If we can prevent athletic injuries through programs such as AcCeLerate, I'm all for it."

Recent studies have supported the effectiveness of programs like AcCeLerate and have found that athletes showed improvements in quadricep/hamstring power, vertical jumping, improved landing mechanics and a decrease in muscle imbalances.

Results from last summer's program resulted in an average increase in vertical leap of 2.4 inches with one athlete gaining 4 inches. All participants increased their speed, agility, jumping/landing mechanics, and strength in their shoulders, core, and most importantly, in their lower extremities.

HGB's AcCeLerate program starts June 20 and will meet weekly through July 28. This year, participants will have the option to participate up to three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and each session will last 90 minutes. Located at the Charlotte High School track, the camp will include a pre- and post-injury assessment that will be administered by a certified physical therapist and athletic trainer. The cost varies depending on how many sessions per week are attended.

For more information or to register, call Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital at 517-543-9575 or visit us online at hgbhealth.com.