ACL Injury Prevention
Injuries to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) are very common with nearly 200,000 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.
Tears to the ACL are caused by a sudden twisting motion. These injuries occur most often to athletes in sports including basketball, soccer, football, skiing and even dance.
What most athletes don’t know is that these often very painful injuries can be prevented if the muscles around the knees are both strong and flexible. Fortunately, there is evidence in support of ACL injury prevention programs demonstrated by a risk reduction of 52% in the female athletes and 85% in the male athletes.
ACL Injury Prevention Tips
Reduce Impact: Those most at risk of an ACL tear tend to be those with previous knee injuries. The best way to prevent injuries of this type is to shift your training regimen to include low impact activities. Good examples include swimming and using a stationary bike.
Focus on Strength & Flexibility: Perhaps the best way to prevent ACL injuries is to reduce your body’s reliance on the ACL. Gain strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscle groups and the likelihood of injury decreases dramatically.
Body Preparation: An ACL injury can happen to anyone at anytime, but focusing on optimal nutrition and hydration, and engaging in a proper pre-exercise warm up routine with stretching are other preventative measures that can be taken.
Just being aware of the potential for a torn ACL is no guarantee that you won’t experience this injury. If you recently damaged your anterior cruciate ligament, contact the office of Dr. Van Thiel for a thorough evaluation and get back on the road to recovery.