ACL Injury Prevention in Females

ACL Injury Prevention in Females

Unfortunately, female athletes have a higher number of injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than their male counterparts. If you?re not familiar with what the ACL is, it is a ligament in the knee that prevents excessive forward motion between the thigh bone (femur) and the lower leg bone ( tibia). Injures to the ACL usually occur when there is a sudden stop and change of direction or landing from a jump. This makes an ACL injury more common in basketball, football, volleyball, and soccer. Girls are 2-8 times more likely to tear or rupture the ACL. But why?

An exact answer is not known but there are several theories.? First, when jumping, cutting and running, women exhibit less upper body control placing more stress on the knee joint.? Also, females rely more on the quadriceps muscle when slowing rather than the hamstring, gluteal and calf muscles. When jumping, women tend to land with their knees closer together (knock ? kneed) placing more stress on the inside region of the knee joint.? To combat this injury female athletes must focus on core muscle strengthening and activating the gluteal, hamstring, and calf muscles thru functional analysis and rehabilitation.

At Sport and Spine Rehab our focus is on the functional analysis and rehabilitation of those areas of the body that are not active. This is useful for injury treatment but more importantly in the prevention of an injury to the ACL in the first place. It?s impossible to prevent all ACL injuries but thru a comprehensive analysis and exercise plan many athletes can avoid finding out what it?s like to have the same injury as? Robert Griffin III.

Dr. Allen Huffman, DC, CKTP, BS
Doctor of Chiropractic with Physical Therapy Privileges
Clinic Director, Landover

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