Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Balance Training Performed After Exertion Versus Before Exertion

Lower extremity injuries occur at a high rate in women's collegiate field hockey and lacrosse, and they occur more frequently in the later stages of practices and games. Poor balance ability is a predictor of injury risk. However, balance ability can be improved with training, and balance training reduces injury risk. Balance ability has also been shown to decrease with fatigue. In an effort to discover if balance training is more effective when performed after exertion, 45 collegiate women's lacrosse and field hockey players were randomly assigned to two training groups. One training group performed a six week balance training program immediately before their sport-specific practice sessions, and the other group performed the balance training immediately after practice. Eleven physically active colleged-aged students served as a control group. Balance was assessed via center of pressure elliptical sway area and sway speed, and the Balance Error Scoring System before and after the training intervention. We found that the effects of balance training did not differ when performed before versus following physical exertion, and that the BESS is not capable of detecting balance changes associated with training. Specifically, both training groups and the control group improved their balance ability from pre-test to post-test, and the BESS was not sensitive or specific to changes in balance following the six-week balance training protocol.