Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Best Ways You Can Avoid ACL Knee Injuries

Did you know that your knees are the largest joints in your body? What’s more, they’re also one of the most active. This means every time you walk, stand, jump, pivot, or kick, your knees work hard to get you where you need to be. Unfortunately, this also makes your knees more vulnerable to injury. And with a knee injury, you can be sidelined for weeks — even months. 

At OasisMD, our team of sports medicine and orthopedic specialists understand better than most the complexities of the knee and how frustrating a sidelining injury can be. We work with patients in San Diego, Encinitas, and Temecula, California, to prevent injuries of all kinds, including a knee injury to your anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. 

If you’d rather spend your time playing on the field than watching from the sidelines, here are the best ways you can avoid ACL knee injuries.

What is the ACL?

Your knee has four main ligaments that run across it diagonally. Your ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of them. The ACL stops your small leg bone, or tibia, from moving over the larger bone in your leg, the femur. It’s what connects your bones and helps keep your knee stable. 

When the ligament tears, you wind up with what’s called an ACL injury or tear. Most ACL injuries also involve other ligaments and the surrounding cartilage. Most patients report hearing a loud popping sound and feel their knee give out beneath them when the ACL tears.  

What are the best ways to avoid ACL injuries in the knee?

No part of the body is completely injury-proof, but you can take steps to prevent ACL injuries. We’ve curated the top five ways to best avoid hurting your ACL, so you can stay active and in the game.  

1. Strengthen your hips and legs

The muscles in your hips and legs provide essential support to your knees. Keeping them healthy and strong is one of the best ways to prevent an ACL injury. You don’t need fancy equipment or lots of time to improve your leg and hip strength. Adding squats and lunges to your warm-up routine is a great way to add strength-building exercises without adding hours at the gym. 

2. Improve your balance

Many injuries happen when you’re off-balance and your body has to compensate. Improving your balance off the court or field means added stability when you’re playing. Balance exercises work your core, back, and leg muscles to increase coordination, stability, and strength. These gains in balance will help you avoid movements that strain your ACL.     

3. Be sure to warm up and stretch

One of the best ways to prevent injuries of all kinds is to warm up before physical activity and stretch daily. Warming up for a few minutes before you exercise or play ensures blood circulates to your muscles and joints, and stretching helps keep you flexible, so you can move easily and keep good form. 

4. Pay attention to early warning signs

Our bodies frequently send us early warning signs when something isn’t right. By paying attention to early symptoms of ACL irritation, you can avoid a full-blown injury. If your knee is sore or you start to have trouble moving your knee normally, stop playing and rest. Your specialist at OasisMD can evaluate these early warning signs and work with you to create a treatment plan, if necessary. 

5. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated

Some of the most overlooked factors in injury prevention are diet, nutrition, and hydration. A healthy diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables; lean proteins, like beans and legumes; and healthy nuts and seeds deliver the nutrients your body needs to stay strong and injury-free. Water is equally important, especially before and during physical activity. Proper hydration ensures your soft tissues stay soft and that you maintain energy and focus on the field. 

Ready to learn more?

Even if you practice the best preventive measures, ACL injuries can and do occur. At OasisMD, we can help. Our team of experts works to safely and effectively treat your injury to get you back to playing, faster. 

To learn more about preventing ACL injuries or to schedule an evaluation, contact the OasisMD office closest to you, or book an appointment online now!

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Many Benefits of Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery that orthopedic surgeons use to diagnose and repair joints. This surgery offers distinctive benefits over traditional surgical approaches. Keep reading to learn more.

How PRP Can Treat Your Arthritis

The secret to relieving your arthritis pain is already inside your body! If you suffer from stiff, sore joints, your platelets may hold the key to improving your joint health. Read on to learn about how platelets can treat arthritis.

How the Obalon® System for Weight Loss Works

If you’re ready to lose weight, the FDA-approved Obalon® Balloon System could be the solution you’ve been seeking. This nonsurgical treatment helps patients eat less, so they can shed excess fat. Here’s how it works.

A Closer Look at Our Mommy Makeover Services

If you’re ready to recover your pre-baby body and feel good in your skin again, a mommy makeover may be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s a closer look at the services involved and what you can expect.

When Is Hand Surgery Necessary?

You use your hands so often every day, chances are you don’t think much about them—until you experience a problem. When this happens, you might wonder if surgery is needed for a full recovery. Keep reading to find out.

What Most Athletes Don't Know About Injury Recovery

Athletes at every level may feel pressured to return to play as soon as possible after an injury. But going back too soon can spell trouble for your long-term recovery and athletic performance. Here’s what you need to know about injury recovery.