Nobody likes to get injured. For most of us, it means pain, inconvenience, and a decrease in our ability to do the activities that we enjoy.
For an athlete, though, an injury can mean far more. It can become lost playing time, a competitive disadvantage to your team, the derailment of years of preparation and even the end of a career that’s been a lifetime in the making.
Injury prevention and an efficient, rapid return to play when an injury occurs are of paramount importance to athletes and coaches.
The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is used by physical therapists and athletic trainers to reliably assess an athlete’s vulnerability to a lower-body injury.
The SEBT can identify dynamic balance deficits in people with a variety of lower extremity conditions and is responsive to changes caused by training programs for both healthy and injured people (1).
As a tool for the prediction of injury, research using the SEBT has found that athletes with an anterior right/left reach distance difference greater than 4 cm were 2.5 times more likely to sustain a lower extremity injury. Athletes with a composite reach distance of less than 94% of their limb length were 6.5 times more likely to have a lower extremity injury (2).
This means that the SEBT can help a coach identify an athlete with a high probability of future injury, and then track their progress as they follow a training program designed to improve their movement patterns and make them safer and more resilient.
The SEBT is a relatively straightforward process, but it requires the collecting and processing of a lot of data, as you can see in this video: