Khazen AthletiKare Aims to Prevent ACL Tears

ACL Stats

Here's some interesting statistics to think about:

This does not bode well for our female soccer athletes.  Research tells us the differences could be hormonal (predisposition during ovulation), anatomical (greater Q-angle, “knock-knees”, & smaller femoral notches), and neuromuscular (less hamstring recruitment during jump landing and deceleration).  With training, females can improve this last factor dramatically, and help themselves avoid non-contact ACL tears.  

With the incidence of ACL ruptures at an astounding 350,000 annually, Lori Khazen and Khazen AthletiKare (KAK) are doing their part to fight the odds.  

KAK @ Washington University

While the assistant coach and strength & conditioning coach at Washington University 2002-2008, Lori Khazen of KAK initiated a ACL prevention program with the women's soccer team.  Of six ACL tears in seven seasons, only ONE was a non-contact ACL tear suffered by an athlete that participated FULLY in the team's ACL injury prevention program.  All others were sadly "contact ACL tears" (resulting from direct blow/tackle to the knee, and therefore difficult to prevent with any training program) or suffered by athletes who refused to or could not participate (due to other injuries limiting their abilities) in the jump training portion of the program (arguably the most important part!)  So, after this clarification, it is accurate to report that those who fully participated in the team program from the 2002 to 2008 seasons, had only ONE NON-CONTACT ACL TEAR and suffered far fewer injuries than the their NCAA opponents.  

KAK @ Webster University

Lori Khazen is now excited to bring her knowledge & experience to Webster University 2009-present, and works with both the men & women's soccer teams as their athletic trainer and assist them in their strength & conditioning needs.  The ACL prevention program as been implemented there as well, and they look to have great success in upcoming years once the cumulative effects of training can take place.  Already mechanics are improving in deceleration & landing (the 2 key components), and all fitness components continue to progress at astounding levels per cyclical fitness tests.  At Webster, they look to have an ACL tear-free year and continued diminished soccer-specific injuries all around (i.e. muscle strains of the hip & knee complexes, ankle sprains, and non-ACL knee injuries).  Another winning season, SLIAC conference championship, and NCAA appearance would be great too!

KAK with Other Clients

Besides KAK's work with Wash U & Webster, KAK's ACL prevention program is also brought to their private & small group clients (read Abbey & Alison's testimonials here), and large team clients, JB Marine Soccer Club.  Whether working with them during their off-season, preseason or in-season cycles, the aim is the same, and we have had phenomenal success...NO non-contact ACLs amongst our private & small group clients in since our initiation in 2005!  In fact, the word is spreading of KAK's success, and private & team clients with previous ACL tears are flocking to KAK training sessions as part of post-rehab programs in hopes of preventing recurrent tears.

What is KAK's ACL Prevention Program?

All KAK athletes follow a strict regimen devoted to injury prevention, especially season-threatening (or ending) ACL ruptures, ankle sprains/fractures, and muscle strains.  For the in-season regimen, it is simply 20min of intense on-field work during each practice, with a combo of weight room & on-field work in the off- and pre-seasons.  The key aspects specifically for ACL injury prevention include hamstring strength & recruitment exercises, jump training & deceleration training drills.  Proper active warmup including dynamic stretches, balance & proprioceptive activities, and cooldown stretches are crucial for success and always administered as well.  It is the philosophy of KAK that if proper mechanics, particularly those in landing & deceleration, are not trained with significant correct repetition, it is nearly impossible to expect the athlete to be able to accomplish proper mechanics on the field of play during competition.  It is KAK's goal to make these mechanics almost innate, needed far less mental energy to perform them when they step on the field.  An female athlete cannot change her genetics or her anatomical structures, but she can alter her neuromuscular response...and that can make all the difference.

So the goals are to dramatically decrease the overall injury rate and obliterate the incidence of non-contact ACL rupture, but what are the “byproducts”? —dramatic gains in strength, muscular endurance, speed, quickness, agility, power, and flexibility.  KAK's performance stats...

...we're doing something right!  

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