5 Tips for Preventing an ACL Injury
Knee injuries, particularly ACL injuries (anterior cruciate ligament) are common, especially in young athletes. But many ACL injuries can be prevented if the muscles surrounding your knees are flexible and strong. To learn the best ways you can reduce your risk of an ACL injury, consider the following training tips:
- Always warm up before playing. Before you start exercising or playing sports, get your blood circulation going in your muscles and joints. Warming up elevates your body temperature and reduces the risk of muscle and knee injuries.
- Stretch. When you stretch, you’re increasing flexibility. In fact, after just a few minutes of stretching, your joints resist movement less. Stretching should involve your calves, thighs and hips to avoid a potential injury. And be sure to concentrate on the areas that feel especially tight.
- Learn to jump and land safely. The get in the habit of doing this, jump straight up several times, then land with your feet and knew facing straight ahead. Be sure to keep your knees bent when you land. If possible, practice this technique in front of a mirror or with someone watching you. This will ensure you have the proper form. It’s the quality of movement you’re looking for, not the quantity. And when you pivot, crouch and bend your knees and hips to reduce stress on your ACL.
- Train and condition year-round. Don’t wait for game season to begin proper training. It’s best to condition your body all year to ensure you’re in the best physical health to help protect against a knee injury.
- Take time to rest. It’s essential for you to give your body the sleep and rest it deserves between rigorous practices and games. Rest is crucial for minimizing the risk of injury, and it makes you a stronger athlete.
Are you interested in learning more about the best ways to protect your joints and prevent ACL injuries? Contact Napa Vacaville Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.
You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville. We look forward to meeting you!