I’M SCARED OF DOING MY ACL… HELP!

Words by Brunswick & Essendon physiotherapist, Yana.

Have you had team-mates go down with an ACL injury?

Have you watched them go through a LONG rehab program, and after 12-18 months finally return to join you on the court?

If you play any of the 5 ‘High Risk’ Australian Sports – Basketball, Aussie Rules Football, Netball, Soccer or Rugby, the thought has probably crossed your mind at some point…

 

Am I going to do my ACL one day??

Recently, we had a case in the clinic where a patient came in for INJURY PREVENTION. That’s right, a person who was not injured came to see a physio.

While it sounds strange, it shouldn’t.

It is a whole lot easier to try and prevent an injury than it is to treat one, particularly ACL.

Fortunately, there is something you can do, and we have research that shows it can reduce your risk by up to 50%. For female athletes, it can actually reduce your risk by up to 67%. Now those odds sound a lot better.

So what is this magic thing? A neuromuscular exercise program! Or in more clear terms, a program that includes:

  • Strength
  • Balance/Stability
  • Landing & change of direction technique

 

How long should it take to do the program?

At least 20 minutes, but the research suggests ideally 25 – 30.

 

How often should I do it?

Twice weekly (before each team training session is perfect!)

 

When in the season do I start it?

The program should be done both in pre-season and DURING season.

 

Who should teach or lead the program?

You! Show it to your club and your coach, and get them to make it a hard and fast rule that this is your team warm-up (before you get the ball involved).

 

How do I know which exercises to do?

You’re in luck! These programs exist. See the links below for well renowned injury prevention programs for different sports:

 

Note: While there is no dedicated national program for basketball or rugby, research shows the FIFA11+ program is effective in reducing injury in basketball players.

At the end of the day, injury prevention starts with you!

You’ll never know for sure how many injuries you’ll prevent by doing these programs. But it’s much better than living with the experience of rehabbing a significant injury.

Stay healthy!

– Yana


Our physiotherapist Yana is a physiotherapist and strength and conditioning coach, who has a background as an elite athlete herself in US College basketball. Yana is a physiotherapist at our Essendon and Brunswick clinics.

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