Tips for ACL Prevention and Maintenance
Naturally, as you get older, the body begins to wear down and deteriorate. It’s important as the aging process takes place to address the areas of your body that are experiencing pain or discomfort and to follow the appropriate measures in order to maintain the overall health of your body.
One part of the body that experiences deterioration more than others is the knees. A common injury that is suffered, especially amongst athletes, is an ACL injury.
Medically termed as the anterior cruciate ligament, this part of the knee can sustain one of the most painful injuries. It is an injury that is commonly suffered by football and basketball players but can also happen to those who are engaging in physical activities such as running or jumping.
Below are some exercises to help prevent an ACL injury:
One way to prevent yourself from an ACL injury is to work on the agility of the lower body. Essentially, this exercise solely works on changing directions and strengthening the muscles that allow you to do so.
This is a common exercise used by athletes when recovering from an ACL injury but is also one used to prevent the injury from happening in the first place.
You want to start out by running to a line or cone on the ground and plant your outside foot without allowing your knee to collapse inward. This puts you in a position to change direction and to do so in a healthy manner. An important thing to remember when engaging in this exercise is to start out slow and to work your way into it.
The next step is to move in patterns that allow you to move from front to back, side to side and diagonally. With good technique, this exercise can maintain the strength in your knee that is needed to prevent an ACL injury from taking place. In many situations, it can also push you towards recovery and back into the world of healthy physical activity.
Another exercise that has both prevented and allowed for a speedy recovery from an ACL injury is landing jumps.
The best way to perform this exercise is with a stable object such as a step stool or just simply jumping in the air with proper technique and landing back on the ground. By placing the focus of the exercise on the landing, the objective is to build strength in the knees through upward mobility and proper landing.
By landing safely on the ground with as little pressure as possible on the legs, the knees can build strength which allows for the ligament to begin healing and return to its true form.
The resistance band jump exercise proved crucial to his recovery and helped put him on a path back to the football field. In this exercise, a resistance band is wrapped around your waist and either anchored or held in place by another person.
With the band around your waist, you perform the exercise by jumping side to side as well as forward and backward. The resistance of the band puts the body in a position where it is forced to balance itself, helping to either regain or maintain the strength in the knees.
Another important aspect of ACL prevention and maintenance is to wear the appropriate gear so that the knee is less vulnerable to injury.
When choosing the right protective wear, the decision really comes down to personal preference and may vary amongst individuals.