What is an ACL Injury?

And how does it happen?



An anterior cruciate ligament injury – or an ACL injury – is a fairly common occurrence in certain sports, especially basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball. The ACL is a knee ligament that stabilizes the knee and prevents the lower part of the leg from moving forward relative to the upper part of the leg.

ACL injuries occur in one of two situations: a contact injury or a non-contact injury. Statistically non-contact injuries are a significantly more common way the ACL is injured. A contact ACL injury occurs in an uncontrolled situation on the playing field when one athlete collides with another in such a way that the ACL is put under stress and ruptures.  In non-contact ACL injuries, a player lands, cuts, changes direction, or plants with improper technique which puts the ACL under too high of stress and it ruptures without any physical contact from another athlete. Approximately 70% of ACL injuries are non-contact injuries.

Why are non-contact ACL injuries more common in female athletes?

Non-contact ACL injuries tend to occur much more frequently in young female athletes.  In fact, reports indicate that 7 of 8 non-contact ACL injuries occur in females. There are many reasons thought to be responsible for this disparity, including hormonal differences and certain anatomical differences such as the thickness of the ACL. Fortunately, many of the risk factors unique to female athletes can be addressed through strength and conditioning as well as neuromuscular training that can help prevent ACL injuries. These risk factors include imbalances or weakness in specific hip and thigh muscles and poor neuromuscular control of the lower extremity (contracting specific muscles at the correct time to protect the ligaments in the knee).

Why Premier Sports and Spine for ACL Injury Rehabilitation?

The sports chiropractic physicians at Premier Sports and Spine Center are uniquely trained in biomechanics analysis, strength and conditioning, and ACL rehabilitation.  We create an individualized program for athletes that accelerates the process of rehabilitation and gets them from floor physical therapy and returning to practice and competition sooner.  Our coaching program is one on one instruction in the clinical setting and focuses on the areas that the athlete needs to improve in order to functionally perform the  movements of their sport correctly.  Premier Sports and Spine Center also offers a program for teams, sports clubs and organizations that identifies risk factors for ACL injuries and provides a specific program to help prevent ACL injuries from occurring. The injury prevention program we offer also has an added benefit: increased performance.

The program includes:

  • Education and instruction on endurance, strength, and flexibility training
  • Agility and speed training specific to the demands of each sport
  • Plyometrics to increase power and explosiveness
  • Technique training specific for ACL injury prevention
  • Core and balance training

Injury prevention benefits include:

  • Decreased risk of ACL injury by up to 88%
  • Decreased landing forces by 22%
  • Increase quad/hamstring ratio from 50% to 60%

Performance enhancement benefits include:

  • Increase in vertical jump by 10%
  • Increase in hamstring strength by 44%
  • Increased sprint speed
  • Improved power and endurance
  • Improved running economy

 For more information on our ACL injury rehabilitation services at our Eden Prairie or Eagan, MN clinic locations, please contact us or call 952-479-0043 today.

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