Things You Can Do to Avoid an ACL Tear

Athletes live with the threat of injuring an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). If you tear this important part of your knee joint, you could be benched for the rest of the season. Due to structural aspects of leg musculature, women are more likely to deal with ACL tears than men.

ACL injuries don’t just happen to athletes, of course. But since jumping and twisting motions and sudden changes in momentum are prime causes of ACL damage, participation in sports or physical activity is often a factor.

Whether you’re an athlete or not, the team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Tomball and Kingwood, Texas, is here to help you support and protect your knee joint. 

Michael Blackwell, MD, and his experienced care team can treat a damaged ACL. Just as importantly, they can advise you on the steps you can take ahead of time to protect your ACL from injuries in the first place.

Strengthening and supporting your knee joints

Your knee joint contains four major ligaments, including the ACL. It’s one of the two cruciate ligaments that make connections between the bones of your knee joint, while still allowing a full range of motion. The ACL is located in the front area of your knee.

In order to protect your ACL, use targeted exercises to strengthen your entire knee joint and leg musculature. Exercises targeting your hamstrings, like stability ball hamstring curls or deadlifts, repeated in sets of reps, can support your ACL. 

Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps with lunges and squats to improve your whole leg performance, including increasing your knee joint stability.

Strengthening your core muscles can also help you support your knees during landings and athletic activity. Talk to Dr. Blackwell about the right exercise plan to help you avoid painful and time-consuming ACL injuries.

Handling jumps and landings

When you suddenly change direction or momentum, your knee joint ligaments have to absorb the shock. The wrong movement can over-stress your ACL, leading to damage, perhaps  a serious tear.

Pay attention whenever you’re going to be making rapid direction changes or coming to a sudden stop. If you’re going to be playing contact sports, take care to guard your knees from trauma and injury. Custom orthotics and wrapping techniques may be beneficial for you.

Landings are particularly risky for your ACL. If you can practice good landing technique, you may be able to protect your ACL from damage. Work on landing evenly on both feet, with your knees bent and positioned shoulders-width apart. Your body and feet need to stay aligned throughout your landing to avoid stressing your ACL.

Protecting your ACL

Over the long term, serious ACL tears can destabilize your knee completely. You’re more likely to suffer from additional tears after you’ve experienced one ACL injury already, so preventing problems in the first place is the best bet for your knees.

Dr. Blackwell can advise you further on the best strategies to support your knees and prevent ACL tears this spring. Get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today to learn more. You can book your appointment online, or give us a call now to schedule.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Keeping Your Ankles Strong

Do you need to strengthen your ankles, both for stability and lasting stamina? Learn about exercises and other tips that can help you keep your ankles in top shape.

How Is a Compound Fracture Treated?

Compound fractures, with a broken bone fully protruding through your skin, are scary injuries. You need the right medical care to heal from a compound fracture. Read to learn more about compound fracture treatment.

Does an ACL Injury Require Surgery?

Injuries to your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) need to be handled carefully and correctly to preserve the stability of your knee joint. Read to learn more about when an ACL injury requires surgery.

When Can I Exercise Normally After an ACL Tear?

If you’ve experienced an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knee, it’s important to rest during healing. How long should you wait to get back to exercising normally? Take a moment to learn more about recovering from an ACL tear.

5 Reasons to See a Doctor About Heel Pain

Is your heel pain becoming a problem? The discomfort needs treatment, and you want to make sure you can prevent complications and lessen the chance of reinjury. It’s time to turn to an expert to get your heel pain problems checked out.