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ACL Injury Prevention

How Physiotherapy Can Aid in ACL Injury Prevention!

Did you know that adolescent female athletes are up to eight times more likely than boys to tear their ACLs? Fortunately, there are tried-and-true methods for lowering your risk while also improving your function and athletic performance.

Our physiotherapists are highly trained in determining who is at risk for an ACL injury and can provide the tools to mitigate these risks.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a common knee injury that affects athletes of all ages and abilities. Certain sports increase your chances of tearing your ACL, but they are not the only way to develop this injury. Our physiotherapists can teach you how to reduce risks in any activity or sport you enjoy.

We will conduct a thorough evaluation of the individual’s ability to produce controlled movement through coordinated muscle activity (i.e., neuromuscular control). According to research, programs emphasizing neuromuscular control lower the risk of tearing the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL).

If you want to reduce your chances of an ACL injury, contact MSK Health and Performance today to set up an appointment with one of our doctors or therapists.

Our physiotherapists in Vancouver Kitsilano, Downtown Vancouver or Burnaby Metrotown will identify any risk factors for ACL tears and provide a proven exercise program to reduce these risks and maximize their results!

What factors contribute to ACL injuries?

The inability to control movement during the variety of activities common in sports appears to be the most important reason for the higher rate of ACL injuries in individuals, particularly in females.

Females, on average, are less effective at stiffening their knees through contraction of the knee musculature. The inability to achieve a maximum contraction to straighten the knee, regardless of gender, significantly reduces the ability to control the forward movement of the thigh bone over the shin bone, resulting in ACL injury.

Females are also more likely to engage in awkward or inappropriate body movements and muscle contractions before the injury. Females’ muscle contraction sequence may be limited or impaired, contributing to an increased risk of injury.

Most ACL tears occur as a result of a sudden but awkward stop, such as landing from a jump or making a sharp cut to change direction. The majority of injuries are caused by deceleration (slowing) movements. These activities, when combined with a lack of or deficient ability to coordinate muscle contractions, increase an individual’s risk of injury.

Why are ACL tears more common in women?

Women are up to eight times more likely than boys/men to tear their ACL. Some possible, but not conclusive, reasons why females are more vulnerable to injury include:

  • Hormonal differences: Hormonal differences are generally considered a “trend,” not a causative reason, which means that there appear to be more incidents of injury, and it may be one of many factors that contribute to the issues, but it is not a “cause” in and of itself.
  • Differences in femoral notches: Regardless of gender, smaller notches (i.e., the area where the ACL attaches to the bone) have a higher rate of ACL injury.
  • The knee joint structure: Individuals with a greater range of motion and less muscle mass around the knee tend to have looser joints and greater instability. These are not considered causative factors but rather contributing factors.
  • Weak core: If the leg muscles are strong but the core muscles (abdominals, hip/pelvis, and back muscles) are weak, it will be difficult to properly stabilize the lower extremities during the dynamic movements required in sports. This core weakness lays the groundwork for injury.

Our physiotherapists can assist you regardless of your limitations and restrictions. We will assess your ability to control movements and provide preventative drills and exercises to help you maximize your ability while reducing your risk of injury!

How ACL prevention programs help to reduce injury risk

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To identify all of the factors that may put you at risk for an ACL injury, our physiotherapists will begin with a biomechanical assessment and a movement screen. We will also check strength, balance, and coordination during this assessment to provide a complete picture of the individual and their abilities.

We will use this data to create a comprehensive program that focuses on hip and hamstring training, core stability, and neuromuscular training.

Following that, we will concentrate on improving your strength and dynamic stability in order to restore function and prevent injuries. To stimulate the nervous system, the emphasis will shift to working on balance and coordination exercises.

After that, your physiotherapist will incorporate activity/sport-specific treatments to help you maximize your training and prepare for injury-free participation. Each program will cover the “at-risk” situations for noncontact ACL injuries, such as proper deceleration, cutting, or changing directions, as well as proper landing techniques.

Finally, your therapist at MSK Health and Performance will develop a personalized plan of care for you to follow on your own, including in-season training, to maximize your recovery and prevent future injuries!

Learn more about MSK Health and Performance ACL prevention programs right now!

There are numerous risk factors associated with ACL injuries, and our physiotherapists at MSK Health and Performance understand how to identify these risks and develop injury prevention programs.

Book an appointment today in Vancouver Kitsilano, Downtown Vancouver or Burnaby Metrotown to learn more about our ACL prevention programs!

Your Next Steps…

  1. Book An Appointment

  2. Receive A Custom Treatment Plan

  3. Work Hard and Progress In Your Recovery

  4. Recover & Enjoy Life!

GET BETTER, FASTER SO YOU CAN RETURN TO THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE. GET STARTED TODAY!