Children and adolescents often participate in sports on a regular basis. Adults also enjoy such activity from time to time. However, participating in rigorous physical activity can increase your risk of injury, especially if you are not prepared. One part of the body that is often injured is the knee. A torn ligament in the knee can prevent your participation in sports and even make regular chores difficult to perform.
A large number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are reported each year. This ligament is considered the primary stabilizer in the knee and unfortunately is commonly injured. Although an ACL injury can occur in anyone, female athletes are more prone as a result of structural variations, difference in hormones and biomechanics. To avoid knee injuries, athletes are advised preseason training. To protect the ACL, exercises that strengthen the hips, buttocks and hamstrings are recommended. Increasing lateral hip strength can resist forces that turn the knee inward, thus reducing stress on the ACL.
The following exercises can help stabilize the knee and minimize injuries in the athlete as well as those who occasionally like to participate in sports.
- Squats: Stand straight with your feet at shoulder width and bend you knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Try to keep your weight on your heels and your knees in line with your toes, then return to a standing position.
- Side leg raises: While lying sideways, raise your upper leg towards the ceiling keeping the leg straight and toes pointed. Gradually lower your leg down, then repeat the movement. Perform this exercise on both sides.
- Twisting lunge: From a standing position with your feet slightly apart, step forward with the right leg bending both knees till the knee behind is close to the floor. At the same time twist your upper body towards the right keeping your lower half steady. Push off with your right leg to return to the original position and repeat using the other leg.
Follow these exercises on a regular basis to avoid overstraining your knees. If you have experienced pain or injury with sports, the professionals at XXX have the expertise to rehabilitate you, reduce your chance of re-injury and get you back in action.