The Association of Proprioceptive Ability with Rates of Injury in College Athletes

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Florida Southern College
Background: Proprioception, the ability to determine the spatial location of a given part of the body, may reduce the risk of injury in the general population; however, there is limited research exploring the relationship between proprioception and injury in collegiate athletes. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between level of proprioception and injury rates among college athletes. Methods: Thirteen subjects from the FSC waterski team were recruited for this study. Subjects completed a questionnaire regarding their training methods and injury history. Proprioception was assessed using a cell phone application-based goniometer to measure the participant’s ability to replicate the joint angles demonstrated by the research assistant. Both shoulder and knee joints were measured to provide information on both upper and lower body proprioceptive ability. Results: Twelve participants (50% male, mean age: 20.08 years). No significant differences existed between participants with a history of injury compared to participants without a severe injury. A trend did exist for participants without a history of injury having more accurate proprioceptive abilities compared to participants with a history of injury (13.17 vs 5.94, p=.08). Conclusion: Although no significant differences were found for proprioceptive abilities between the participants with and without a history of injury, there was a trend towards more accurate proprioceptive abilities for participants without an injury history. Future studies should further examine the relationship between injury rate, balance training, and proprioceptive abilities. Findings can inform coaches and trainers to consider incorporating proprioceptive training to enhance athletic performance and reduce injury risk.
Honors thesis Fall 2019
Proprioception, Sports injuries, Wounds and injuries, College athletes