An ACL injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament is damaged or torn and as you can imagine has the potential to detrimentally cut short an athletic career. This can take 6-12 months of intensive rehab and recovery to return to normal functionality.
Let’s have a look at a few factors that make women high risk for ACL injury.
Being a woman means you’re at a 2-8x higher risk than men of enduring a season ending ACL injury. Our unique physiology and with it the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the menstrual cycle affect joint laxity, this can alter biomechanics and ACL injury risk has been found to increase by 20% – pre ovulation.
We also have some structural differences that make us more susceptible injury. Wide hips increases the angle between the quadriceps muscle and the patellar tendon also known as the Q angle, this can affect our knee pathology causing our knees to collapse inwards when landing. Flat feet, if you have feet that collapse inward, your knees are more likely to knock together or if you have high arches, you will have a reduced area for load support, which can modify the transmission of forces through the lower limbs, leading to increased stress on the ACL.
Unfortunately ACL injuries are far too common at the elite level, let alone the grassroots where the everyday athlete has less access to injury preventative resources. Research suggests that when women engage in a preventive periodised strength plan that includes neuromuscular and proprioceptive exercises she can reduce the risk of ACL injuries.
TrainHer takes into account the female anatomical and hormonal differences that come into play here and will come up with a tailored ACL injury prevention program.
Click here to to contact us for more information on an injury prevention program.