Preventing ACL Inuries
For sportspeople of all ages, a rupture of your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) can be a devastating injury. Apart from the obvious pain and discomfort, there is the costs of surgery/physiotherapy; time off work/study; inability to play sport for extended periods; and the risk of degenerative arthritis in the future. So is preventing ACL injuries possible?
A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2008 looked at an ACL preventive programme. The programme consisted of warm-up, stretches, strengthening, plyometrics and agility exercises. More than 1400 female adolescent football (soccer) players were involved in the study. It found that the completion of the programme on a regular basis throughout the season led to a 70% decrease in non-contact ACL injuries (ie ACL injury where there was no contact with another player). These results are similar to studies in 2000 and 2001 which recorded an 83% and 74% reduction in ACL injuries by completing this same programme.
The programme, known as PEP (Prevention and Enhanced Performance) involves working through a series of specially designed exercises prior to a training session. The exercises emphasis is on correct technique and control whilst also preparing the athlete for training.
As the football and netball season approaches, the completion of such a programme is surely worth consideration. Hoys Physiotherapy would be more than happy to run through the PEP Programme with you and/or your team-mates.