ACL tears are one of the most common injuries we often hear of due to a number of reasons. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a strong ligament connecting your femur (thigh) to your tibia (shin) bone. ACL tears typically occur during quick movements that include sudden stopping or changing direction. To try and keep you healthy through this winter we have come up with some tips on how to keep your knees healthy.
Risk Factors for Your Knees
The reason that many people may know of a friend with knee injuries or have hurt the ACL themselves. This is due to a number of common risk factors.
The anatomical, strength, and hormonal differences between the genders have been linked to a greater occurrence of females injuring the ACL or knee joint.
2. Lack of Conditioning
It is important to assess the joint above and below – the hip joint and ankle joint and muscles associated with these areas are crucial to keeping the knee happy.
3. Sport Participation
Participation in sports that have many stop/start, quick lateral, and turning movements increases the risk of a knee injury. These can include soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, gymnastics, and downhill skiing.
4. Environment and Equipment
This can include playing on turf for example or having equipment such as bindings that are not set up appropriately or footwear that doesn’t support the joints appropriately.
5. Poor Movement Patterns
If your knees fall inward as you squat or step up then you may want to look at working with someone to fix these patterns.
Exercises to Help Knee Health
Monster Walks (the exercise above) shows the importance of keeping good alignment of knees over ankles while working the glutes (the joint above the knee) to reduce the chance of ACL injury.
Stay Ahead of the Injury
Look out for the next post regarding ACL exercises to keep your knees happy and healthy throughout life and sport. The risk factor for osteoarthritis increases once you need knee surgery so stay ahead of it and do the prehab work. For more support feel free to book an appointment to access and build a program specific to you.
For more info and other risk factors check out: