ACL tears (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) are a miserable experience to encounter. They happen in the knee and are painful injuries and can put you out for a couple of weeks after having surgery. Having an ACL tear, you are going to have to rehab the injury and make it as strong as it once was. Physical Therapy is one of the most important aspects after going through an ACL injury. ACL injuries are most common with athletes.
Everything you do happens with your ACL. Jumping, landing, training, turning and much more. Anything having to do with your knee, which are most things, you need to properly rehab your ACL after an injury. Having one ACL tear makes it easy to re-tear it again later on in life.
Some people think they will not have to go to physical therapy or they are just too stubborn, but you’re ultimately hurting yourself in the long run. PT (physical therapy) can do wonders for you. It will be long and drawn out, but they’re there to help you…
When doing physical therapy for an ACL injury – they have five different phases. The first phase is going to be your goals. How are you going to get inflammation down, what are the exercises you will start with and build up to etc. The second phase is practicing your core training including some cardiovascular (aka “cardio”) training. You may think you don’t need this, but you often have a shortage of these before the injury happened. The third phase is knee flexion and progressive strengthening. You will start to focus more on the knee and control your swelling. You will also slowly incorporate squats in, as doing squats when you return to normal activity can cause great strain on your knee and can risk injury on your ACL again. The fourth phase is to go over goals and see where you are at. The fifth phase is prepping for running! All of the exercises are through the limb and this is the ultimate goal. When you run, you are putting almost 3% of weight on your knee and physical therapy will help you get ready for that.
If you do not go to physical therapy after an ACL injury, you will probably never return to the point of activity that you were at beforehand. Having surgery on your ACL is to help you get back to normal movement, without physical therapy though, you will never get there.
This piece was submitted by one of our baseball guest writers.