ACL Injury Rehabilitation – What to Consider in Your Rehabilitation
We start with acknowledging how much information and education is required to optimally rehabilitate an athlete from ACL injury, and the limitations of explaining this in a blog post. However, this post is designed to help you critically analyse your rehabilitation and ask yourself whether you are completing all of the necessary requirements!
The following factors should be considered when rehabilitating an injured athlete back into sport.
Muscle conditioning – Muscle conditioning involves the restoration of strength, power, and endurance and the re-education of muscle imbalance: Isometric → Concentric → Eccentric → Hypertrophy → Plyometric → Speed.
Range of Movement – With injuries of the knee, there may be inflammation and adaptive shortening of the surrounding soft tissues, the aim is to regain full range of movement (ROM) of the joints and soft tissues that surround the knee in order to enable an athlete to return to the desired sport.
Proprioception – In acute and overuse injuries nerve endings and nerve pathways are damaged and, thus, impair signal transmission of nerve impulses in reflex action, and can result in impaired balance, decreased coordination, diminished joint position sense, increased tendency for the joints to give way and altered reflexes when performing general and specific movements.
Functional exercises – Once a reasonable level of muscle conditioning has returned and neuromuscular control is being achieved, gradual re-introduction of the functional activities that form the basis of their sport should occur. Functional exercise may include the sporting implement and should be supplemented by continued progressive strength, power, endurance and neuromuscular training.
Progressive Speed and Agility training – Walking (5-10%), Straight Line Jogging (10-50%), Running (50-80%), Sprinting (80-100%), S Drills, Figure of Eight, Cutting, 45 Zig Zag/Continuous Cut, Backwards, Lateral, Multidirectional.
Sports specific training – First successful non-competitive integration (i.e. no contact) followed by competitive integration (i.e. back to full contact training).
If you have any questions about the rebailiation of a ACL injury please feel free to get into contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org