ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are one of the most common injuries among athletes and non-athletes, with about one in 3500 people reporting an incidence in the US. The ACL is a ligament in the knee that allows for stabilization and quick movements such as twisting. Unfortunately, not only is this one of the most common injuries, but it can also be one of the most severe, leaving lasting effects even after it has healed.
That’s why preventing ACL tears is crucial for anyone involved in sports or activities such as football, basketball, and running. Learn what steps you can take to avoid an ACL injury.
What Causes an ACL To Tear?
An ACL injury occurs when you quickly plant your foot and twist your knee in the opposite direction. This movement is common in many sports, such as when a basketball player stops to shoot the ball, and the main reason many people have experienced ACL injuries. Now that we know what causes an ACL to tear, let’s look at how to prevent it.
How To Prevent ACL Injuries?
Even though most sports last for several months of the year, it’s important to continue your conditioning year-round. When you take time away from a sport, your body may lose muscle, making it difficult when the season starts again. By keeping the muscles strong around the knee, you can ensure it is stable and supported. Plus, consistent exercise can help you improve in the next season.
Warming up your muscles before a game or working out is vital. This prevents injuries and muscle strains. Utilize dynamic exercises, which are movements that are slow and controlled. These stretch the ligaments and get them ready for more strenuous activities. Examples include walking lunges and leg swings.
Practice Monitoring Your Movements
Bending the knees when you jump or suddenly stop can help ensure the knee is facing forward, preventing an injury. When exercising, practice landing on bended knees and softly on your heels. You should also avoid landing on one foot since this puts too much pressure on one knee.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine in San Antonio, TX
If you experience an ACL tear in San Antonio, TX, visit the Sports, Occupational, and Knee Surgery experts. We have several trained professionals who are experienced in treating knee-related injuries, including providing ACL repair surgery. Contact the office at 210-696-9000 for an ACL repair consultation.