Can conditioning programs decrease the incidence of ACL tears? YES!

Conditioning can be particularly useful for female athletes.

According to a review of the literature and their own studies, Timothy Hewett, PhD, and Darren L. Johnson, M.D*, have concluded that conditioning programs can help reduce ACL tears in female athletes.

ACL injuries in female athletes has been on the rise.

It has become apparent over the last several years that the incidence of ACL injuries in female athletes has been on the rise.  As the female athletes has been competing in ever more demanding and competitive sports requiring jumping, landing, and cutting, the rate of injuries has surpassed those for male athletes.

It appears that the conditioning programs can overcome some of the anatomic and neuromuscular pattern differences in the female athletes.  The article targets the main areas of concern and how they can be improved.  The references are extensive at the end of the review.

Dr. Peairs’ comments:

I feel ther are a number of basic exercises athletes (not just females) young and old(er) should focus on.  These include:

  • Balance and coordination activities
  • Core strengthening
  • Targeted stretching to improve flexibility
  • Plyometrics.

And best of all? All the above exercises can be done with a minimum of equipment!

*Article cited is ACL Prevention Programs: Fact or Fiction published in Orthopedics vol 33, 1, January 2010.

Do you have an athletics-related injury? Please contact Dr. Peairs to schedule an evaluation today.

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