Keep your soccer daughter out of ACL danger?
I’m sure that you have heard of the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament…especially if your kids participate in outside team sports like soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey. So why is it that girls are more susceptible to tears of the ACL than boys?
Numerous research studies have been conducted over the past 10 years that indicate females are indeed more susceptible to ACL injuries than boys. In addition, most studies report that females are 4-6 times more likely to tear this ligament.
The ACL is typically injured when a player makes a cut, lands from a jump, or is struck by an opponent on the field. The force causes the knee to bend and rotate excessively. When this ligament is torn, your child will complain of instability, “buckling” or a “giving way” sensation in the knee.
Studies performed in 1999 showed that when females landed from a jump, several things occurred that were differed from males:
1. Females had a tendency to land on straighter knees, which places more stress on the ligaments and the knee in general.
2. Female knees “buckled” inwards more than males; this directly stresses the ACL.
3. Females muscle activity tended to be the opposite of males. The hamstring muscles (back of the leg) are very important in helping the ACL prevent the tibia from moving too far forward. Male athletes activated the hamstrings sooner and more often than female athletes; this predisposes the females to ACL injury.
4. Females exhibited a muscular imbalance between the hamstrings and quadriceps (front of the thigh). The hamstrings were significantly weaker than the quadriceps, relatively speaking. Once again, this can make the female athlete more prone to injury.
The question now is: how can the female soccer player help prevent an injury to the ACL?
Our warm-up instruction video for players and coaches is a GREAT first step in getting players consistent with a warm up program of static stretches, dynamic stretches, and plyometrics to help prevent ACL injuries. CLICK HERE.
FIFA has data that they have reduced the incidence of injuries in youth soccer players by 35-45 percent and reduced the severity of injuries by 20-30 percent by following a consistent warm up program before EVERY game and practice. They add an additional 10 minutes of strengthening and stability exercises such as running drills, front and side planks, hamstring drops, bridges, single leg balancing, squats, vertical and lateral jumps.
Let OrthoWell show you the way!!