ACL Tears; Picture of a young athlete doing jumping exercises to reduce her risk of ACL tears

Use These Three Exercises to Help Prevent ACL Injuries

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear is one of the most feared injuries in sports.

ACL Tears: Logo of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab

Thanks to Chris Phillips, ATC, CSCS of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab for sharing 3 favorite exercises to help prevent ACL tears.

Surprising to many, more ACL tears take place without contact. These injuries typically occur when an athlete either tries to decelerate or change direction quickly. They may also happen upon landing from a jump awkwardly and with hyper extending or twisting the knee. Females are also at a much higher risk of ACL injury versus males. Research shows anywhere from a four to eight fold increase in these injuries to female athletes. The reasons for this large differential is constantly being argued.  Many common factors include smaller, more lax ACL’s, wider hips, slower reaction time, higher quadriceps to hamstring strength ratio and hormonal differences.

Why is the ACL tear so feared?

The ACL is one of four ligaments that stabilize the knee. It attaches the femur to the tibia, resisting forward motion of the femur on the tibia. It also resists excessive rotation of the knee. Due to poor blood supply a torn ACL cannot scar down and heal itself. When fully ruptured, the ACL must be reconstructed through surgery. The ACL is typically replaced by using part of the athletes’ hamstring or patella tendon. Recovery from the surgery will take anywhere from six to twelve months. This is a lifetime to a young athlete.

So, can these injuries be prevented? It is impossible to fully prevent ACL tears. Many studies show that with proper training and conditioning, non-contact ACL tears can be significantly reduced. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SEE THE EXERCISES, CLICK HERE

 

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