Don’t Get Sidelined by an ACL Injury
- Posted on: Aug 15 2016
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of four ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint and keep the lower leg from sliding too far forward. When you play sports that involve quick changes in motion like football, basketball or soccer, you are at greater risk for ACL injury. And if when this type of injury happens, it can abruptly end the season and may lead to surgery.
Here are some tips to help you protect your knee joint and prevent the prospect of surgery:
Preparation is Key
Before the season starts (at least one month), begin conditioning your body through endurance training. And don’t go full-force right away; ease into your training and buildup gradually to prevent injury.
Pay Attention to Form
Many sports involve jumping, landing, lunging and squatting. If done incorrectly, it can wreak havoc on your ankle. Be mindful of how you pivot, bend and land in order to reduce your risk of a collapsed knee, which is one of the most prominent risk factors for a torn ACL.
Build Strength and Balance
To reduce your risk of ACL injury, focus on strengthening your core, quadriceps, and hips. Make leg presses, lunges and squats a part of your exercise routine. And cross-train by using an elliptical machine or stationary bike.
Your body will not react kindly if you push yourself too much. When you engage in repetitive movements and intense activity without taking time off, you increase your risk of injury. Take care of yourself with adequate downtime, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep.
The tell-tale signs of an ACL injury include a cringe-worthy “pop,” followed by knee pain and swelling. When this happens, be sure to enlist the RICE procedure. Rest the muscle, ice the affected area, compress with bandages, and elevate your leg to decrease swelling.
If you are interested in learning more about how to avoid an ACL injury, contact Dr. Desio today. Our offices are located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and we proudly serve all surrounding areas. Schedule your appointment today at 508.363.6363.
Posted in: ACL