New research published by High Point University junior Emma Zuk and a team of professors offers helpful information about the relationship between hip exercises and knee motions during sport activities in the prevention of ACL injuries.
The article, titled “An evidence-based review of hip-focused neuromuscular exercise interventions to address dynamic lower extremity valgus,” appears in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. It summarizes existing research and offers a practical explanation of hip exercises that could reduce knee injuries. It can be viewed online athttp://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S72432.
Zuk, an athletic training major from Stoughton, Massachusetts, and faculty members from the School of Health Sciences, the Department of Physical Therapy and the Department of Athletic Training conducted the research in HPU’s state-of-the-art Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab. They are currently collecting data on how changes in hip strength and flexibility in adolescent athletes may contribute to injuries, which Zuk presented at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association meeting this summer. The paper complements this ongoing research with suggested hip exercises clinicians can use with patients.
“The hip plays a major role during sport activities and has been identified as an important factor in ACL injuries,” Zuk says. “Our work discusses the scientific evidence on hip-focused interventions commonly used to address knee injuries and provides the sports medicine community with practical applications that may be used both clinically and in future research studies.”
Zuk says being involved in such beneficial research as an undergraduate and working closely with faculty mentors has provided an unparalleled learning experience.
“The opportunity to contribute to this paper has been an amazing experience I may not have had elsewhere,” Zuk says. “The support and mentorship of the faculty has inspired me to continue my research and challenged me to work to my full potential. I am very proud of our work.”
Zuk is continuing her research as project coordinator for a study at HPU that seeks to understand the risk factors for ACL injuries in youth soccer athletes. She is also co-authoring two additional journal articles and planning research presentations for upcoming conferences.
“It is rare that an undergraduate student publishes a manuscript – it is even more rare to accomplish this as a sophomore,” says Dr. Yum Nguyen, assistant professor of athletic training and one of the article’s co-authors. “I am extremely proud of Emma’s contributions to this paper and her commitment to learning through research. Publishing this manuscript, along with all of the other research experiences, has provided her with remarkable learning experience that will help her excel as a clinician and as she pursues graduate studies. These incredible accomplishments are a result of Emma’s hard work, and I am fortunate to have her as part of our research team.”