For anyone passionate about running, an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury can feel like a major setback.
But the good news? With the right rehabilitation, runners can return to the tracks stronger than before.
North West Physio Lutwyche delves into why a structured ACL rehab program is vital for a safe and efficient comeback.
Why ACL Rehab Matters
The ACL is essential for knee stability – especially for running. That’s why we use a specific rehab program tailored for runners ensuring that strength, flexibility, and movement in your knee is restored, reducing the chances of reinjury.
Our program concentrates on honing neuromuscular control, improving proprioception (our sense of body position), and safely guiding runners back to their sport.
Our 5 phase ACL Rehabilitation program for Runners includes:
- Pre-surgery strengthening: Prepping the knee before any potential surgery.
- Post-surgery recovery: Gentle movements to prevent stiffness and promote healing.
- Strength training: Building muscle around the knee to support the ACL.
- Return to running: Gradual reintroduction to jogging and running.
- Return to sport: Transitioning back to competitive sports, if that’s your goal.
Overcoming Challenges and Building Strength
Many runners experience hamstring weakness during ACL rehab since the hamstring tendon often provides the graft for the new ACL in surgeries. If not addressed, this can lead to an asymmetrical running pattern and future hamstring injuries. That’s why we have a dedicated focus on hamstring rehab and strengthening here at North West Physio Lutwyche.
Transitioning Back to Running
Before we get you back to running, we focus on improving your jumping and landing technique. This approach builds confidence and strength in the new ACL graft. By simulating the forces your knee encounters during high-speed running, we ensure your leg is ready for the road again.
We also employ milestones and tests throughout the rehab stages to ensure you’re ready to progress. One of these is the triple hop test, typically performed just before you start running again. To pass, your injured leg must hop at least 95% of the distance that your uninjured leg can.
Long-term Knee Health: A Marathon, Not a Sprint
Finally, it’s important to remember that ACL recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Following your physiotherapist’s advice, taking each stage slowly, and committing to a regular and progressive strength program is vital to prevent re-injury and maintain long-term knee health.
Ready to Take the First Step?
At North West Physio Lutwyche, we understand every runner’s unique journey and challenges. If you’re navigating an ACL injury and eyeing a return to running, allow us to guide you. Book your appointment now and embark on a tailored rehab plan designed for your success. Remember, your comeback could be stronger than the setback. Let us be part of that journey.