We have all heard stories of the promising athlete benched for a season or even out for good, because of a torn ACL. Is there a way to decrease this injury, protect the athlete, and their love of the game? Maybe. Screening the athlete and the various muscles surrounding the knee may be the answer.
Non-contact injuries represent over 60% of all ACL injuries. In fact, most result from pivoting and landing incorrectly in sport. Research shows that some factors are increasing this epidemic, especially in female athletes. Unfortunately, most risk factors cannot be changed due to biological makeup, including a wider pelvis, a smaller femoral notch, and fluctuating hormones.
However, through education and exercise, we can work to decrease the risk. At the Tidewater Physical Therapy Aquatic & Performance Center in Newport News, we offer sports injury screenings. Screenings summarize an athlete’s profile of strength, speed, agility, and leg alignment using a variety of sports specific movements. Our team of physical therapists will detect deficiencies and help identify athletes who may have an increased risk for serious knee ligament injury.
A deficient hamstring is one modifiable factor contributing to the risk of ACL injuries. Many female athletes are quadricep dominant and present with a significant muscle imbalance between the hamstring and quadriceps. The hamstrings are one of the most important muscle groups that protect the ACL when the tibia (shin bone) pulls too far forward. Comprised of three separate muscles in the back of the thigh, the hamstring acts as an antagonist to the dominant quadriceps, but a healthy hamstring can aid in the stability of the knee joint and help protect the ligaments specifically the ACL.
Samantha Davis, PT, DPT, is a certified Sportsmetrics™ instructor and very passionate about ACL injury prevention and treatment. With the results gathered from a sports injury screening, she will compile a treatment plan to strengthen the muscle groups surrounding the knee.
Working with a physical therapist can decrease your risk of ACL injury and increase overall athletic performance.
Call and schedule your athlete’s screening today to keep them off the sidelines and in the game.
Samantha Davis, PT, DPT practices in our Oyster Point clinic in Newport News.