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The Landing Error Score System – A Screening Tool

I was recently reading the article titled “The landing error scoring system as a screening tool for an anterior cruciate ligament injury – prevention program in elite-youth soccer athletes” that was published in the journal of athletic training in 2015 and thought I would highlight some of the key take home messages for those interested in screening individuals for risk of musculoskeletal disorders.  As health professionals (osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, myotherapists and exercise physiologists), we are often working with both injured individuals and individuals pursuing athletic goals where our role is to help them either manage an injury or prevent an injury.

Key Information

  • The landing error scoring system (LESS) is a field based tool for identifying potential high risk movement patterns (errors) during jump landing movements.  LESS has a good interrater and intrarater reliability when used with 3d motion analysis.
  • The purpose of the study highlighted in this article was to examine the validity of the LESS (total score and individual items) in identifying individuals at risk for ACL injury in elite youth soccer athletes.
  • The jump landing task in the study involved participants performing 3 trials of a standardised jump landing task during each test session on a soccer field before training.  The participants stand on a 30 cm high box placed at a distance of half the body height away from the landing area which is marked on the ground by a line. Participants jump forward so that both limbs left the box at the same time to land past the line and to jump for a maximal height after landing.
  • The landing error scoring system looks to assess for either 0 = absent or 1 = present for a range of observations of the body at initial contact.  16 individual items are reviewed and scores of 0 or 1 are allotted to these.  The overall impression is then scored as 2 = stiff 0 = excellent and then 1 = average or 2 = poor.  To read more about this in detail, please go to http://natajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.10.
  • A higher LESS score indicates a greater number of landing errors and therefore poorer jump landing technique.
  • Overall the LESS score may effectively identify elite youth soccer athletes at higher risk of sustaining ACL injuries.  Elite youth soccer athletes with a LESS score of 5 or more were at higher risk of sustaining ACL injuries than those with a LESS score less than 5.  Individuals with LESS scores of 5 or may be targeted for ACL injury prevention exercise programs.
  • What the LESS score doesn’t allow one to do is identify precisely which athlete will sustain an ACL score.

This blog post was written by Osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.

Principle Four Osteopathy

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.