ACL Injury Prevention & Athletic Excellence Check out our new blog, click here! • Knee Cert™ training at your school district for your coaches & teachers, anywhere U.S.A. • Community Outreach charity programs for student athletes, coaches & parents, throughout the U.S.A. • Advanced training guides and instructional training DVD's
Advanced Training Resources for Coaches & Student Athletes
Dedicated to the Female Athlete •Basketball •Soccer •Volleyball
Strength & Conditioning Programs to Optimize Performance
Finally, specialized athletic training programs for the needs of female athletes! Prepared and produced by Laura Ramus, P.T., A.T.C., Head Athletic Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach of the 2003 and 2006 WNBA World Champion Detroit Shock.
Features & Benefits:
•Performance and Injury Prevention.
•Get Stronger, Run Faster, Jump Higher.
•Read some sample testimonials here! # 1 , # 2 , # 3 .
High School and Junior High GCJ™ Community Outreach U.S.A. Lead Sponsor 2011: Athletic Science, Inc.
Athletes, Parents, Coaches, Trainers, and anyone who helps young athletes are encouraged to attend. Recent program highlights: March 14-15, 2009 Portland, OR March 28, 2009 St Joseph, MO October, 2009 Colorado
Highlights 2004-2011 March 2, 2011 Edison, NJ TBSA Sports Academy
November 9, 2010 Boulder, CO
April 30, 2010 North Oakland
This year, in the United States alone, an estimated 250,000 people will tear their anterior cruciate ligaments. Roughly, 70 percent will be non contact injuries. The vast majority will be among women age 15 to 25.
The injury is so commonplace, especially among female athletes in sports like basketball and soccer, that coaches, athletic trainers, and parents expect to see some of their athletes stricken every season.
So the big question is, why do they occur disproportionately among women, and what can athletes do to protect themselves against these devastating injuries?
In the summer of 2000, the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons published the findings of a study group convened to look at noncontact ACL injuries. They cited four categories of risk factors for these injuries: environmental, anatomic, hormonal, and biomechanical. Of these, only neuromuscular training programs were noted as showing potential to decrease ACL injuries.
Little has changed since then, so my advice to you is concentrate on the way we train female athletes. Every female athlete must be taught how to jump, land, cut and complete their athletic activity in a better position so that the knee is not placed in a position of risk for injury.
What Does Research Say? Anatomy and biology can't be changed. But Wojtys and Ramus urge players and parents to ask for specific training geared to girls and women, based on the latest research. They urge players to find out if they are at risk, then work on improving jumps, reflexes and control. Get the right shoes. Have your jump evaluated. Start now!
Don't wait until you're hurt to take care of your knees. Click here for more information!
Focusing on the training program can be extremely beneficial not only toward injury prevention but increased athletic
performance. The Girls Can Jump™ training program is scientifically designed to help coaches train female athletes. Click here for more information about the program.
I am seeing a trend which alarms me, the old axiom that if you're worried about getting hurt, you will get hurt. Female athletes must be reassured that they can train and play hard without the fear of an ACL injury.
Laura Ramus is Head Athletic Trainer for the WNBA Detroit Shock and a Licensed Physical Therapist, with the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), Detroit Medical Center.
Laura has contributed many professional papers and presentations on topics related to athletic performance training and injury prevention. Examples: following are titles of topics published and available from the Detroit News.
<Cures for an Ailing Workout 05/14/03
Snowboarders Need a Strength & Conditioning Program 12/27/02
OUCH ! Plantar Fasciitis 12/23/02
Muscle Cramps - An Athlete's Nightmare 12/16/02
Amenorrhea in the Female Athlete 12/09/02
CORE Strength Training a Must for Fitness 12/02/02
Ballet Dancers and Injury 11/25/02
Overuse Injuries Common in Young Athletes 11/18/02
Athletes and Herbal Remedies 11/6/02
Avoid Winter Sport Injuries 11/4/02
Synthetic Turf: Is it Better than Grass? 10/28/02
Best Treatment for a Blister - PREVENTION ! 10/22/02
A New Weight Loss Plan 10/11/02
Get ready- Get set - Go! ... Understanding reaction times 10/7/02
Iron Deficiency Common in Female Athletes - 9/30/02
Training for Soccer - 9/20/02
Improve Side to Side Movement in Any Sport - 9/16/02
Strength Training for Children - Part 2 - 9/02/02
Should Adolescents Strength Train ? 8/26/02
The Asthmatic Athlete- 8/21/02
Don't Let Lightning Strike You - 8/12/02
Balance - An Athlete's Most Important Tool - 8/5/02
Warming up can improve your golf game - 7/26/02
If the shoe fits, wear it ? - 7/19/02
Get to work on your abs - 7/12/02
Are you ready for Wimbledon? - 7/5/02
Preparing athletes for competition in hot weather - 7/2/02
Early specialization affects skills - 6/21/02
From youth to professional sports, there's a need to get back to basics - 6/19/02
Trainers will help get you in shape - 06/19/02 Click here, for more training articles by Laura Ramus, P.T., A.T.C.
to Coaches and Parents : Are you interested to sign up, for our GCJ High School Outreach Program ? There is no better time than right now, to start proper training and conditioning, for your high school female athletes. During her off-season from professional basketball, Laura Ramus provides presentations at high school campuses and gyms throughout the U.S.A. If you can facilitate helping us reach out to high school female athletes, parents and coaches in your community, please click here!
What Does Research Say? Volleyball Injuries - NCAA data findings
report findings as follows regarding ACL injuries among female volleyball players. The data include retrospective information from surveys of 25 NCAA Division I women's volleyball programs regarding ACL tears over five years. Fourteen programs reported a total of 26 grade 3 (complete) ACL tears in 24 athletes. The injuries were well distributed among all classes, freshman to senior. Most injuries (73%) occurred in game situations, especially in the middle to late portion of the season (after the 10th match of the season).
In a finding consistent with other reports of volleyball injuries, the NCAA players at the outside-hit and middle-block positions accounted for most injuries (88.5%), with setters accounting for the remaining 11.5%. No injuries to defensive specialists were reported. Most injuries (64%) occurred when jumping or landing from a jump, and all were noncontact injuries.
Injuries were fairly equally divided between the right and left knee (54% and 46% respectively), and all of the injured athletes were right-hand dominant. About two thirds of the athletes were wearing some type of prophylactic brace or tape on the ankle of the injured leg, although only 20% acknowledged a previous ankle injury.
All injured athletes included in this survey underwent surgical repair using patellar tendon grafts. At the time of study review, 13 of the 24 athletes had returned to play, 7 were still undergoing rehabilitation but were expected to return to play, and 4 did not resume competition (2 because of graduation).
"Listen In" Online Audio Training Resources Exciting News !
Now you can listen in online to special training topics, by Laura Ramus, P.T., A.T.C.
Laura is dedicated to reaching out to female athletes throughout the U.S.A. - and worldwide, with up to date and relevant training and preventative care topics affecting athletes of all ages and experience levels.
WNBA Detroit Shock trainer Laura Ramus puts Rachael Sporn through a leg-strengthening drill at the team's practice facility.
AUBURN HILLS -- Rachael Sporn jumped to tip a pass, just like she had done thousands of times before. But this time, the landing would be different. Sporn, a forward for the Detroit Shock, fell to the floor in agony as her right knee crumpled. "You see players hurting their knees all the time, but somehow you block it out and don't think it can happen to you," Sporn said. "Blowing my knee out is the worst pain I have ever experienced. You seriously wonder if your career is over." For female athletes -- especially soccer, basketball and volleyball players -- that seems to be the underlying theme: A serious knee injury leads to an unknown future. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, females are three to five times more likely to tear the anterior cruciate ligaments in their knees while participating in a sport. The past three seasons alone, the WNBA has lost some of its top players to such injuries, including Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoopes, Tamika Catchings, Michele Timms, Korie Hlede and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield. Sporn's injury was especially serious: she tore her ACL, the medial collateral ligament and damaged a bone during a game Aug. 23, 1999. Sporn flew back to her native Australia a few days later to have surgery. Doctors reconstructed her ligaments and placed a bone graft from her right hip into her knee. "It was ironic. It was the only time in my life I've flown first class back home, and it was only because my knee was purple, the size of a large melon and I was in pain," Sporn said. "A part of you then wonders if you'll ever get back to normal."
Coming back Swoopes, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2000 WNBA MVP, is rehabilitating her left knee. She tore the ACL and damaged the lateral meniscus during a pick-up game April 23. She had typical reconstructive surgery. The ACL is rebuilt by adding a part of another ligament from elsewhere in the body, a donor or even a cadaver. "I played the best season of my life in 2000, and now I'll miss all of 2001," Swoopes said. "I'm very scared in the back of my mind on how it's going to be when I'm out there playing or shooting. Nobody knows what the future holds." Catchings, a rookie forward with the Indiana Fever, has yet to play in the WNBA. She tore the ACL in her right knee her senior season at Tennessee. Nearly seven months later, she's still working on rebuilding physical and psychological strength. "Some days I'm hyped, and some I wonder if I can do this," said Catchings, the 2000 women's college player of the year. "The rehab is going slower than they thought. They don't want to rush me, which is good. But you sit around and wonder how things are going to be when I come back. Will it be the same?" Shea Ralph is in a similar position. She blew out the ACL in her left knee her senior season at Connecticut during the Big East championship game March 7. But Ralph's case is more serious. She has suffered three ACL injuries and had four knee surgeries since high school. The latest reconstruction required a cadaver ligament since none of her own would work. "There isn't any cartilage left in my right knee, I've done this too many times," said Ralph, a member of the Utah Starzz. "But I love this game and want to keep going. I try not to think about how my knees are going to be when I'm older. I'll probably need knee replacements, but I'll deal with that later." Greg Williams, the Shock's coach, said some players aren't the same after an injury. "I've seen players get more tentative in traffic rebounding or running down the floor on a break," Williams said. "You need to play this game with a degree of abandon to win. You look at some players and you see that second of hesitation that wasn't there before the ACL blew." Ed Wojtys, an orthopedic surgeon and the director of the University of Michigan's MedSport clinic, said the public, and even players, underestimate the severity of knee injuries. "People think you just have surgery, reconstruct the ACL, rehab it and then the athlete is back to normal," Wojtys said. "That's not the case at all. Many of my colleagues and myself are worried about the long-term prognosis. Will these basketball players be able to walk in five or 10 years? "A knee that sustains that type of damage, such as ligament tear or deep-bone bruising, never completely returns to normal."
Finding a cause Trainers and surgeons have an ongoing debate as to the cause of female knee injuries. Research is ongoing, with the focus honed on a few areas: * Muscle development. Researchers are examining the relationship between the elasticity of women's muscle, strength ratios and monthly hormonal fluctuations. It's a given that women aren't as strong as men. Researchers, however, have learned women's muscles are more flexible than male muscle tissue. This additional flexibility may be one of the leading causes for women tearing their ACLs at a higher rate. Female muscles have been proven to take a millisecond longer to respond with force than male muscles. This small difference also could lead to injury. * Hormones. Wojtys is studying the role hormones may play in ACL injuries. The female hormonal level constantly changes thanks to the menstrual cycle, leading to days where the muscles can be more elastic than others. Both Ralph and Catchings believe their monthly cycles could have been a factor in their injuries. "That's the one that makes the most sense to me, because I was in great shape when this happened," Catchings said. "My legs were strong." Trainers have traditionally urged women to develop strong quadriceps. But sometimes overdevelopment occurred in ratio to the gluteals, abdominals and hamstrings. Laura Ramus, the Shock's trainer/strength and conditioning coach, makes sure her players work on various types of leg strength. * Body type. The wider angle of a woman's hips can place more force on the knees. The "V" angle from a woman's hips to her knees can produce a natural tendency to turn the knees inward when jumping. Flat feet and poor posture can also contribute to turning the knees inward. Women have smaller femoral notches than men, leading to more chances of the knee not protecting itself during twisting. "You can't isolate just a single cause," said Paul Schreck, an orthopedic surgeon at St. John and Bon Secours hospitals. "I've seen well-conditioned, high-level athletes get hurt and also the not-so-well conditioned ones. This doesn't discriminate."
Getting stronger Ramus is waging a one-woman campaign to reduce the risk of female knee injuries, especially with WNBA players. She monitors the Shock players' leg strength, knee angles while jumping, as well as any bad habits. "I can just look at a player landing and tell her if she's on her way to blowing out her ACL," said Ramus, who has successfully rehabbed more than 200 female high school athletes. "There are things we can to make ourselves stronger and hopefully less prone." Shock player Dominique Canty has been Ramus' recent project. Canty's natural landing position after jumping has her knees turning inward at a bad angle. Ramus has been pushing Canty to get stronger legs and abdominals, as well as modify her landing position through repetition. The Shock perform a daily series of leg lifts and flexibility-testing exercises in addition to their usual cardiovascular training. "I think it's really made a difference," Canty said. "I feel stronger and it can't hurt." Sporn also feels back to strength, thanks to Ramus and a lot of hard work. "Going through a knee injury is very Zen-like," Sporn said. "It makes you think about your life -- push through pain you never thought you could. I'm very grateful to be back playing. You can't take this for granted. You never know what can happen to any of us."