Roughly 20 minutes into a football game or practice, ACL injury rates begin to rise. That’s the same amount of time it takes for intermittent physical activity to increase the looseness of the knee.
Thanks to a $125,000 grant from NFL Charities, Dr. Sandra Shultz (Kinesiology) will conduct an 18-month study of precisely how the increase in knee laxity during sports activity affects the biomechanics of the knee.
“Understanding the factors that play a role in ACL injuries is the first step in preventing these devastating injuries,” said Shultz. “This information is important not only for professional athletes, but for everyone who engages in athletic activity.”
Shultz and co-investigators Dr. Randy Schmitz and doctoral student John Cone will recruit competitive athletes, both men and women, and measure knee laxity and biomechanics before, during and after a 90-minute exercise session that will mimic the stresses of sports. Data will be collected in the Applied Neuromechanics Research Laboratory in the School of Health and Human Performance.
The UNCG project is one of 11 nationwide to receive an NFL Charities Medical Research Grant this year.