One of the most feared injuries that any athlete can suffer is damage to the ACL. This ligament is responsible for stability in the knee with side to side motion, and can be vital to anyone who plays:
There are several reasons why an ACL injury can be so debilitating. The likelihood for re-injury to the knee can be fairly high, but this is also because many athletes who have suffered an ACL injury may not even realize the extent of the damage. Since the ACL is highly responsible for knee strength when moving at an angle, some athletes will not notice that there is an injury until they try to travel from side to side.
The truth is that people with a damaged ACL can still run forwards and walk with relative ease once the initial inflammation from the injury has gone down. The result is that after a minor ACL injury, such as a sprain, people can tend to treat the problem as a general knee injury and not have it properly diagnosed. This means that the weakness from the initial damage can still be present, even if the knee seems to function well for forward motion.
Taking The Right Steps
At Core1Inc., we see ACL injuries fairly regularly. Athletes with any type of knee issue are recommended to get it properly looked at, in order to determine whether it is an ACL problem or some type of joint damage. This is because the physical rehabilitation for different injuries will focus on strengthening different parts of the body. This can make a big difference in how well an athlete is able to recover, and how much of a problem the injury may be in the future.
One of the really important things about working with ACL injuries is to work on strengthening supporting muscles and ligaments in order to protect the knee in the future. This is often best accomplished when it is done earlier in the healing process, since it does not give the body time to start compensating for the injury.
What usually happens as people are healing from an ACL injury is that they will subconsciously begin to use different motion patterns to keep pressure off the ligament. Although this is one way to protect the knee, it can be less productive for long-term health, since it is not helping to strengthen the healing injury. The results is also that going into physical therapy at a later stage in the healing process can mean that athlete have to spend a lot of time re-learning how to move correctly.
Tending to ACL injuries with physical therapy is always a good choice, but starting strengthening and mobility exercises early on can be even better. At Core1Inc., we have sports enhancement training and physical therapy programs that can address any stage of an ACL injury. This lets athletes not only emerge from their healing feeling stronger, but also more capable over the course of time. If you want to make sure that an ACL injury is not the end of your athletic career, then we encourage you to contact us and find out about the rehabilitation training that can give you the most benefit.