ACL Tears Growing

Post by Brian Yee, PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

If you’re a football fan of any sense, whether it be college or NFL, it’s likely your hopes for your team have been sidetracked due to one of its players suffering from an ACL tear. And doesn’t it seem like they are happening more often now? Well this article by CNNSI shows that this year, ACL tears in the NFL are on the rise. The article stated, “We have counted 27 preseason ACL injuries, the highest tally since records were first kept in 2004.”

Just as importantly, the article continues to say that “studies show 70 percent of ACL tears result from non-contact injuries.” This means there was no one else that ran into the player in order to cause the tear, rather, the players own non-contact movement caused the ACL to tear.

Why does that happen? There are some theories about the limited training camp training due to the collective bargaining agreement. Others will say it’s due to youth players committing to one sport too early as a kid and the repetitive nature of training in one sport is causing ACL tears to happen earlier.

Regardless, one interesting statement of the article which we find clinically true of the players we work with is that “players may be less supervised or less conditioned with more time away from the facility, and have less access to things like ACL prevention programs that use specific exercises to strengthen muscles in the core and around the knee.”

ACL prevention programs should be implemented not only at the pro level, but more importantly at the youth development level. We believe if coaches, strength and conditioning trainers, physical therapists, parents, and players all work together to develop a more committed program that focuses on proper stability of the knee, leg, and core strength, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of ACL injuries. We find that athletes like to train for heavy power lifting without addressing fundamental movement efficiency patterns that allow the leg to work the way it should before power, speed, and agility training.

We are excited to work with Fusion ATL, a performance training center that is utilizing a program called Fusionetics.  This program is able to score your injury risk assessment by your movement efficiency and provide recommended exercises for the client. These exercises help improve your overall score with the hopes of reducing the risks of significant injury.

If you have any concerns about your movement efficiency and would like to come in for an injury prevention screening, please feel free to contact us!

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