23 Apr ACL Tear Prevention During Lacrosse Season
One of the fastest-growing sports in the country is lacrosse. It is both a contact and non-contact sport. Due to the intense nature of this sport, various injuries can occur during a game or practice. ACL tears are often considered one of the leading causes of missed games and practice time for lacrosse players. That’s why our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute would like to discuss how you can prevent this injury during lacrosse season.
What is an ACL Tear?
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a tough band of connective tissue in the knee that is responsible for providing stability in the joint. The ACL is one of the four important ligaments in the knee. Your ACL also facilitates movement. We specifically mention lacrosse because ACL tears are becoming extremely prevalent among both male and female players. During the course of play, lacrosse requires a lot of turning, sudden stops, and landing. Lacrosse can place a lot of stress on the lower extremities and increase the risk of injury to the ACL. An audible “pop usually accompanies an ACL tear,” and your knee may feel unstable and swell. Some of the other signs of an ACL tear may include the following:
- Severe pain.
- Rapid swelling.
- Lost range of motion.
- Instability with weight-bearing.
Preventing ACL Tears
When you are aware of the risk factors and put in the extra effort to remain conscious of them, you have the potential to decrease the possibility of suffering an ACL tear. One of the most important aspects for athletes to do is maintain their conditioning throughout the season and during the off-season. It is essential to warm up and stretch before playing to get your blood circulating and help you stay flexible enough to maintain form. Here are some exercises that you can incorporate into your training to potentially help reduce the risk of ACL injuries. (As always, please consult with a physician before starting any workout routine!)
- This exercise requires a resistance band. Lie down on your side with the bands around your calf region.
- Make sure your feet are together and open your legs by lifting the top knee.
- Lower the top knee down toward the other leg.
- Perform this exercise on one side for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down while keeping your knees behind your toes and jump straight up in the air, lifting both of your knees up to your chest.
- Try to land softly, and repeat for 30 seconds.
Side-to-Side Single-Leg Hops
- Start on one leg with your knee slightly bent.
- Hop laterally over your lacrosse stick and land gently on the same leg.
- Pause for a moment, then jump back over the stick.
- Continue this exercise for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
- Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can place your hands on your hips or keep them at your side.
- Lunge forward with your right leg, and drive your weight into your heel.
- Bend your right knee down so that it’s parallel to the floor. Pause.
- With your right leg stationary, move your left foot forward and repeat the same movement with that leg. Pause with your left leg parallel to the floor in the lunge position.
- Repeat this movement. “Walk” forward as you lunge while alternating your legs. Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, injuries happen, which is why our team is here for you!
Contact NYSMI Today!
Lacrosse is considered a moderate-risk sport, but it is crucial that you stay educated and consistent with your training to reduce your risk of injuries and mistakes. If you suffer an ACL tear, our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is well-versed in treating this injury. Our team can evaluate your injury and outline an effective treatment program for you so you can get back out on the field. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!