One of the most common knee injuries among athletes is an ACL tear. An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury occurs when the tissue that connects the thighbone to the shinbone at the knee is torn or ruptured. A chiropractor can help with ACL injury prevention and recovery.
ACL injuries are most common in athletes, especially in sports with recurrent cutting or rotating motions (such as basketball, soccer, football, skiing and tennis). They can also occur from every day activity.
An ACL injury can range from mild to severe and symptoms include knee swelling, instability and pain.
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment options can vary. For mild injuries, rest and rehabilitative therapy can help. For more severe injuries, surgery may be required.
ACL Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of an ACL injury include:
- A loud “popping” sensation or noise in the knee
- Severe pain
- Rapid swelling
- Inability to continue activity
- Loss of range of motion
- A feeling of instability or “giving way” with weight bearing
Common Causes of ACL Injury
Even though ACL injuries are most common in athletes, anyone can sustain an ACL injury.
ACL injuries can occur from:
- Changing directions quickly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slowing down while running
- Awkward landings
- Direct collision/forceful contact
Many of these types of motions occur during sports activities (such as football, soccer, basketball, skiing, tennis and more). That’s why ACL injuries are so common in athletes. However, they can also be present in everyday activities for non-athletes so anyone can sustain an ACL injury.
ACL Injury Recovery Time
ACL injury recovery time will vary based on each individual case. Depending on severity of injury, treatment methods required and adherence to treatment plan, recovery time can range anywhere from 6-9 months for full recovery.
Can a Chiropractor Help with an ACL injury?
Yes, a chiropractor can help with ACL injury prevention and recovery.
Everyone can benefit from injury prevention exercises but especially athletes. Working with a chiropractor during any type of training can benefit you by ensuring you are using preventative exercises to keep your muscles and tendons strong.
If you’ve recently suffered an ACL injury, chiropractic care can be helpful by increasing range of motion, restoring alignment, and allowing blood and oxygen to the access the tissue through several different treatment options.
ACL Injury Treatments Chiropractors Use for Recovery
Chiropractic care can help post-ACL injury recovery by ensuring that the knee is in proper alignment and that any built up scar tissue surrounding the knee is broken down.
Manual adjustments and joint manipulations can help restore joint motion and full function of the knee joint. This can also speed up the healing process.
Dry needling and IASTM (scraping) can be used to help release trigger points and break up scar tissue. This can help allow the free flow of blood and oxygen into the area to allow the muscles and tendons to heal quicker. Restoring blood and oxygen flow are important in helping aid the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Most importantly, rehabilitative exercises can be used to help restrengthen the surrounding muscles and tendons to help relieve pain and prevent injury in the future. A simple series of knee exercises like these can help reduce pain and increase strength.
Studies show that chiropractic care can be an effective way to regain full function and significantly reduce pain in ACL injuries. However, be advised that depending on the severity of the injury consultation with a general practitioner or orthopedic specialist may be required. If surgery is necessary, a patient must be cleared to begin rehabilitative exercises before starting treatment with a chiropractor.
How Can I Prevent an ACL Injury?
One of the best ways to recover from an ACL injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place! There are several things you can do to prevent ACL injuries and maintain activity all year round.
Our first tip is to always incorporate strengthening and mobility exercises into your sports or fitness routine. While speed, agility and strength exercises are great in helping you achieve your goals, you won’t be able to achieve anything while injured. By incorporating strength and mobility exercises, you ensure that you are supporting all the surrounding muscles and tendons, so they are not as susceptible to injury.
Be sure to also strengthen your hamstrings, quads and core. All three of these elements are essentially in every movement and when you equally train and strengthen all areas, it can help prevent injury to one specific area.
Another tip is to be sure to pay attention to how you move. Of course, this can be more difficult when you are moving at higher rates of speed but try to be cautious of how you move, especially from side to side.
In addition, be sure to avoid exercise or activity when you are overly fatigued. When your body is overly worked, your muscles are way more prone to injury. Taking a rest day or two is much better than several months!
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free. We also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance. We want to make sure you get the most from your benefits. You should experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.
Kaizo Health has chiropractors in Fairfax, VA, Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; and Fort Washington, MD. Our doctors an evidence-based approach by combining chiropractic care and individualized rehabilitative exercises. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health. We are here to help! If you’d like more information, check out our blog. You can also take our free virtual self-assessment on app here.