It’s almost the end of September in Winnipeg, and its all too common on the soccer field and basketball court. An athlete jumps to get the ball, lands and blows out a knee. And most of that time those athletes are girls. Girls are four to six times more likely to suffer a certain kind of knee injury than boys, according to Mayo Clinic research.
Your Physio Winnipeg always concentrates on proper training, biomechanics and technique of exercise, otherwise, why do it if you’re going to hurt yourself.
When an athlete cuts, pivots or jumps, the athlete puts stress on the ligaments of the knee; Medial, Lateral and especially the Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL in the knee. If the knee collapses inward during these moves, that ligament can tear, along with severe injury to the surrounding soft tissue.
ACL injuries are especially a problem for girls, possibly because of the angles of their leg bones or imbalanced muscles around the knee. But proper biomechanics, education and training can help prevent ligament injuries.
Train to jump properly, and actually practice to inherit a good habit; “Legs shoulder width apart. you have to jump as high as you can and when you land you have to land straight and your knees can’t go in or out,” explains Winnipeg physiotherapist, Chris Bisignano.
At the heart of research now is jump mechanics and landing mechanics. These drills teach how to move more safely and will strengthen the muscles around the knees.
Ligament injuries can mean a trip to the operating room and reconstructions are not minor. Recovery can keep you out of the game for nine months to a year. But injury prevention training, and cross activity training can keep kids in the game. Westwood High School in Winnipeg, actually has a “high performance training or phys ed” class for its athletes. “They give their kids some training techniques I would never try in practice,” says Bisignano, “but its excellent training to be involved in to prevent injury”.