Sidelined: Emily Myers, Part 2

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo — “Life goes on. It’s just nice because I know that God has this plan that goes beyond even now. Even right now, in this moment, if this is what God has for me, it’s perfect,” said Myers.

Emily Myers wasn’t always content with the plans God had for her.

“I remember screaming and just hitting the floor,” said Myers.

Myers suffered her 2nd ACL tear in 2 years while playing basketball for Evangel University.

“The 1st time I was upset and crying, and then 2nd time I was mad. Are you kidding me. This is not happening right now,” said Myers.

This time, her injury not only ended her season, but also her career.

“With an ACL injury, we have a surgery to correct it. The surgery is great because you have it reconstructed, but you are 10 times more likely to have another to that same knee or the opposite side,” said Dr. Marc Norcross.

“Everyone talks about sports teaching life lessons, and I think there is more than just teaching them to win games,” said Norcross.

Dr. Marc Norcross is a researcher in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University.

“We have a young population that is engaged in physical activity, and they are doing it because they enjoy it, but now this injury has a potential to cause them to be inactive later in life,” said Norcross.

Norcross studies lower extremity prevention programs for high school athletes. According to Norcross and his colleagues, more than 1.7 million students participated in high school soccer and basketball programs during the 2013-14 school year, and about 20% of them required medical attention for a lower extremity injury.

In women’s basketball, the High School Sports Related Injury Surveillance Study reported that knee and ankle injuries accounted for 46% of injuries the following year (2014).

“With ankle sprains, we know that when someone has an ankle sprain, they are 90% more likely to have an additional ankle sprain. Those individuals, in 15 years, will have early onset to osteoarthritis.”

The answer, according to Dr. Norcross, is intervention prevention programming.

“Injury will always be an inherent part of sports. What we are trying to do it make it safer,” said Norcross. “These types of prevention programs have been shown to reduce non-contact injuries or indirect contact injuries. These programs work.”

“Unfortunately, many programs out there focus on power and performance, without improving the ability to move first,” said Jim Raynor.

Jim Raynor is the Administrative Director of Mercy Sports Medicine in Springfield.

“Once I can move well, I can move often. Once I can move often, I stack strength, and once I stack strength, I can now incorporate power.”

“The fundamentals are crucial. Once you have the fundamentals down, everything else continues to build off of that,” said Dr. Jason Martinez.

Dr. Jason Martinez is a sports Chiropractor, and owner of NXT Level Chiropractic in Springfield.

“As intense as these kids play these days, you can probably start in elementary school at 7, 8 or 9 years old. If they can spend 2 or 3 days a week, 15 minutes at a time, going through some Neuromuscular Training, they can start to learn how to move properly. They can have a good coach to watch them, and build them up from there. That really pays dividends in the long run,” said Martinez.

“Something is better than nothing, but what you put into it, dictates what you get out of it,” said Jim Raynor.

“You aren’t going to completely eliminate injury from sports,” said Norcross, “but when you look at these national databases, a good proportion of these are preventable,” said Norcross.

Prevention and reduction: Things that Emily Myers, wishes were on her side.

“As much as I hated it at times, I never wanted to stop playing,” said Myers. “I am a completely different person now than what I would have been if I didn’t pick up a basketball when I was 5 years old.

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