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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Study Spotlight: Star Excursion Test as Predictor of Lower Extremity Injury In Basketball

By: Joel Luedke

We believe in in some sort of screening or assessment (it can be whatever you think works best) when it comes to training not only your athletes but anyone.  If we don't have a baseline to base our process on then how do you know if we progressed?  Hard data is tough to argue with and can be very beneficial not only to the coach but the athlete or trainee.  Test and rest (Check out our article on screening HERE).

In this study we look at a simple test as a predictor of lower extremity injury in basketball players.

What They Did:

Researchers used the Start Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and tested a group of high school 

basketball players.  The test consists of standing the middle of a star and having eight (8) directions to reach one of your feet while standing on the opposite.  The distance you are able to reach in each direction while maintaining your balance is recorded for analysis (Video on how it is done)

What They Found:
Overall the researchers found the the SEBT was reliable and a solid predictive measure of lower extremity injury in high school basketball players.  They found specifically that the comparing the greater anterior right/left reach distance was the best predictor of injury.

What It All Means:
The quick version is that this very simple test (easy to make and easy to implement) can be invaluable to preventing lower extremity injuries in high school basketball players.  This means you could build it into a pre-participation physical and with the findings build a movement or 'preventative' program to decrease potential injury risk.

It is very worth while to look at differences from side to side as they can alert you to potential compensations. This is useful on two fronts.  One on the side that is underworking or appears to be unable to handle the same load.  This can lead to potential for injury if that limb were to be called on and not be prepared.  It also gives you an idea that one limb might be working too hard and that could set it up for potential overuse injury (also not fun to deal with).

Overall, testing with some sort of screening tool can be extremely beneficial and should be implemented one way or another.  The SEBT is a great place to start and could be applied to any lower extremity sport.

Star excursion balance test as a predictor of lower extremity injury in high school basketball players
Phillip J. Plisky
Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
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