ACL Prevention

ACL prevention (anterior cruciate ligament) especially in females is a serious topic not only for the female athlete but for the sports performance coach, orthopaedic surgeon, sports physician and of course the parent of the athlete.

Personally, I have seen my share of female athletes that have had this type of surgery.

Also, on the other hand, I have had phone calls from concerned parents asking me whether I provide a service that includes prevention of this type of injury.

The answer to that is yes, by the way.

There is some speculation based on various research on why female athletes are prone to male athletes to this injury. This includes: 1. Lower extremity misalignment.

In specific, having the foot rotate outward, which would cause the force to be on the the knee.

2. Hormonal differences.

This is an interesting theory that says female hormones, in specific estrogen, will cause hormonal fluctuations that may influence the structure and composition of the anterior cruciate ligament.

3. Muscle recruitment

Females recruit their quadriceps first as opposed to males. What is speculated here is that because females rely on their thigh muscles so heavily it causes an increased strain on the anterior cruciate ligament.

Anyway, what appears to work best to reduce the chance of getting this horrible injury is to:

1. strengthen the hamstrings and glutes.

2. Strengthen the hip abductors and core musculature (side plank progressions for example)

3. Deceleration training

4. Plyometrics

5. Proprioception training (training on an unstable surface)

6. Conditioning

7. Lower extremity flexibility training

Please contact me with any questions about this subject or for a more in depth service you need to check out my services section.



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