A tear in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) causes pain and swelling in the middle of the knee. This is followed by a feeling of the knee being unstable and about to “give way”. In some cases, you may even hear a ‘popping’ sound at the time of injury.
The ACL connects the thigh bone to the shin bone, and stops the shinbone from shifting too far forward. This limits the inward rotation of the shinbone and prevents hyperextension of the knee. This prevents your knee from collapsing under increased stressed while playing sports such as basketball or volleyball.
The causes of ACL injury can include sudden movements, such as quickly changing direction (cutting), or landing awkwardly from a jump. The resulting damage to your knee can either cause a partial or complete tear of the ACL.
Having a bad foot posture may increase the likelihood of injuring the ACL. For example, people with a flatfoot will have misalignment in the knee. This misalignment will impact the functionality of ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the knee. So the risk of ACL injury increases when a person with flatfoot does sharp turns or movements that increase stress on the knees.
In order to diagnose your condition, your doctor will conduct a physical examination of the knee to assess the overall functionality of your knee joint and to check whether the ACL is intact.
X-rays can be used to rule out a fracture, and MRIs may be needed for proper diagnosis and to determine the full extent of injury.
Initial treatment for an ACL injury would involve plenty of rest, application of ice packs, and use of compression wraps/bandages in addition to a comprehensive active rehab programme.
A well-rounded treatment plan may also include an orthotic intervention in the form of MASS4D® insoles. MASS4D® makes foot insoles that help prevent re-injuries by supporting the foot in its optimal posture to correctly realign the knee ligaments with the rest of the body.
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Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.