Preventing ACL Injuries

Hey all,

Today we try to give some tips as to why dreaded ACL injuries happen, and how to implement prevention methods. 

ACL knee injuries can cause many problems for kids who play sports. Besides the chance of having to sit out an entire season, they might face loss of scholarship funding, lowered academic performance, and long-term disability from osteoarthritis (a painful joint condition). 

Most ACL tears do not occur from player-to-player contact. The most common causes of non-contact ACL injury include: change of direction or cutting maneuvers combined with sudden stopping, landing awkwardly from a jump, or pivoting with the knee nearly fully extended when the foot is planted on the ground. 

It is difficult to assess how athletes can best modify their movements to prevent non-contact ACL injuries. Recent research has allowed therapists and clinicians to easily identify and target weak muscle areas (e.g., weak hips, which leads to knock-kneed landing positions) and identify ways to improve strength and thus help prevent injury. In addition, other risk factors such as reduced hamstring strength and increased joint range of motion can be further assessed by a physical therapist or athletic trainer to improve performance—or rehabilitation efforts after an injury has occurred.

Current studies also demonstrate that specific types of training, such as plyometric routines and learning to pivot properly, help athletes prevent ACL injuries. These types of exercises and training programs are more beneficial if athletes start when they are young. It may be optimal to integrate prevention programs during early adolescence, prior to when young athletes develop certain habits that increase the risk of an ACL injury.

P.S Our programs our designed for maximum injury prevention. We focus on PREhabilitation rather than REhabilitation!

– Chris

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