ACL injury is one injury that seems to continuously occur in many sporting populations, but female athletes tend to be plagued most frequently. Currently, we have 2 of our girl soccer athletes that returned a few months ago with knee issues (ACL, knee dislocation). Programming to prevent these issues comes down to solid programming and taking a holistic approach (not just looking at the knee!). One of my favorite posts about ACL prevention comes from one of StrengthCoach.com.
Mike Boyle : ACL Prevention Is Just Good Programming
What to Address First?
Injuries to certain joints, in this case the knee, can be caused from limitations in mobility seen in the joints above and below the site of pain or injury. For the knee, this means addressing ankle and hip mobility restrictions. Often times, ankle mobility (decreased dorsiflexion or tri-planar mobility) seems to be decreased because athletes can tape their ankles before every practice and game. Secondly (not secondary in importance), poor footwear is something that athletes tend to be drawn too (check for high-heeled sneakers, and brick-like stiffness Jordans!). Another reason why people may lose ankle mobility could be that many people sleep on their stomach which forces the ankles to stay in a plantar flexed position. That’s my opinion. Looking at the big picture, if someone has a terrible ASLR (active-straight leg raise screen), it may drastically affect ankle mobility. Looking at the Spiral Line (Anatomy Trains) we see how the fascia of the arches runs up through the knee and up to the pelvis (up to the opposite shoulder). These lines help understand global movement and how our bodies function as a unit. In closing, working on ankle mobility (if limited), helps to restore proper proprioception in order for our body to proper stabilize itself in single-leg stance as well as allow the stress to be evenly distributed throughout the lower extremity.
Ankle Mobility Drills