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Open AccessArticle

Leg Dominance as a Risk Factor for Lower-Limb Injuries in Downhill Skiers—A Pilot Study into Possible Mechanisms

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Phayao, Phayao 56000, Thailand
3
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, 6525 Nijmegen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183399
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 13 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Sports Activities: Injuries and Prevention)
Leg dominance has been reported as one potential risk factor for lower-limb injuries in recreational downhill skiers. The current study proposed and tested two possible mechanisms for a leg dominance effect on skiing injuries—imbalance of the knee muscle strength and bilateral asymmetry in sensorimotor control. We hypothesized that the knee muscle strength (Hypothesis 1; H1) or postural control (Hypothesis 2; H2) would be affected by leg dominance. Fifteen well-experienced recreational downhill skiers (aged 24.3 ± 3.2 years) participated in this study. Isometric knee flexor/extensor muscle strength was tested using a dynamometer. Postural control was explored by using a kinematic principal component analysis (PCA) to determine the coordination structure and control of three-dimensional unipedal balancing movements while wearing ski equipment on firm and soft standing surfaces. Only H2 was supported when balancing on the firm surface, revealing that when shifting body weight over the nondominant leg, skiers significantly changed the coordination structure (p < 0.006) and the control (p < 0.004) of the lifted-leg movements. Based on the current findings, bilateral asymmetry in sensorimotor control rather than asymmetry in strength seems a more likely mechanism for the previously reported effect of leg dominance on lower-limb injury risk in recreational downhill skiers. View Full-Text
Keywords: leg dominance; injury; risk factor; anterior cruciate ligament ACL; balance; neuromuscular control; knee muscle strength; sex difference; kinematic principal component analysis PCA leg dominance; injury; risk factor; anterior cruciate ligament ACL; balance; neuromuscular control; knee muscle strength; sex difference; kinematic principal component analysis PCA
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Promsri, A.; Longo, A.; Haid, T.; Doix, A.-C.M.; Federolf, P. Leg Dominance as a Risk Factor for Lower-Limb Injuries in Downhill Skiers—A Pilot Study into Possible Mechanisms. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3399.

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