Did you know that every year in the United States an estimated 80,000 people suffer a knee injury know as an ACL tear. People of all ages and activity levels can experience this injury. However, ACL tears are particularly common in young women who participate in athletics. In fact, women athletes have been shown to be up to eight times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than their male counterparts. However, there is hope, ACL injury prevention programs have been shown to dramatically decrease ACL injury rates. Continue reading to find out if you may benefit and how to begin an ACL injury prevention program.
Your ACL is a specific ligament within your knee which provides stability in the forward and inward directions. Certain leg alignments and muscle weaknesses can put this ligament at risk of being injured. One of the most common misconceptions is that ACL tears only occur during contact sports such as football. This is not true, any activity that involves pivoting or direction changes put you at risk of an ACL injury. One simple test to see if you are at risk of injury is the squat test. Stand in from of a mirror with your feet shoulder width apart and try to squat down until your hip crease is even with your knees. If your knees drift in, you come up on your toes or lean forward excessively you are at risk of injuring your ACL. If your notice any of these patterns you would benefit from an ACL prevention program particularly if you are a female involved in athletics. The first step in avoiding injury is to be aware of the posture of your legs. You should avoid positions where your knees are excessive inward or “knock-kneed”, also avoid pivoting on a planted foot. In addition to these cues, you would benefit from a formal ACL prevention program. Contact Siskiyou Physical Therapy about ACL prevention and strengthening program. Most patients will benefit from 4-5 physical therapy visits at a cost of 40-90 dollars per visit. At Siskiyou Physical Therapy, these treatments will decrease your risk of injury with proven and revolutionary interventions. Patients should be wary of programs that offer instant solutions or focus on passive interventions. If you are already experiencing severe knee pain or instability, a screen may be needed to determine if you are appropriate for this program.
Remember, if you have certain risk factors for an ACL injury including poor knee positioning and/or are an athletic female you would greatly benefit from an ACL prevention program. The statistics about injury rates are alarming and there are proven programs to decrease risk. An ACL tear can be excruciatingly painful and keep you from the activities that you love. To decrease your risks, contact Siskiyou Physical Therapy today.
Jonathan Hill, DPT is a staff Physical Therapist with locally owned Siskiyou Physical Therapy. He is originally from Grants Pass and returned to the area 2 years ago to practice physical therapy in his hometown. With his advanced degree, DPT, he specializes in outpatient orthopedic problems focusing on restorative and preventative interventions. He can be contacted at www.siskiyoupt.com or 1-800-958-2588.