St. Francis Sports Medicine

St. Francis Sports Medicine Newsletter | September 2009

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Success Story

"While training for
my second marathon,
I suffered an injury
in my hip/groin and
upper thigh areas.
I did everything I
knew how to improve
the injury,including
several weeks of
rest. Nothing helped.

The pain prevented
me from running
and, as a result, I
missed most of my
peak training time
and the marathon.
I called 675-HURT,
and Kenny directed
me towards a
solution, and he
connected me with
Orthopedist and
Physical Therapist

in far less time than
I could have done.

Within a couple
weeks of treatment,
I was running again.
Three and a half
months later, I com-
pleted my second
marathon in San
Francisco, finishing
with a 22 minute PR
and, better yet...
no injuries!"
Trey Lominack

ACL Drills
Video Guide

Test your risk of
ACL Injury through
our video guide,
which shows you
proper technique
and form to protect
your knees.

View ACL Guide


ACL Injuries are often mentioned, but seldom understood. Most of us know that ACL has something to do with the knee, but that's about where it ends. Did you know that knee injuries account for 25% of all sports injuries in women, and that female athletes have an overall ACL injury risk of 1 in 50? Injuries of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament are 4-10 times more common in women than men, so it is important for us to understand not only the causes of ACL injuries, but what to do to reduce your risks.

Easy on the Knees, Ladies!

ACL InjuryIt seems that women's choices of sport and the way female bodies are built have much to do with risk of ACL injuries. Females tend to have a wider pelvic angle and increased lower back curve, which are factors that result in the femur rotating inward and the knees assuming a "knock knee" position -- this places increased stress on the ACL. And some of the most popular sports for women, like basketball, volleyball, tennis and gymnastics, require play and movement in a more upright position, which causes weak trunk, hip and leg muscles.

The simplest thing you can do? Just what your mother told you -- stand up straight! Maintaining good posture helps control rounded shoulders, a swayed back, curvature of the spine (scoliosis), flat feet and other problems that can affect correct form with sports training.
Regardless of which sport you play or whether or not you are an athlete, the basic rules of knee care apply. The keys to reducing your risk of ACL injury are learning the proper movement techniques and keeping your body strong through training and conditioning. You can start strengthening your muscles with a female-specific conditioning program. Remember to start with a good warm-up to promote flexibility and prepare the body properly for exercise. A cool-down after exercise is important in bringing the body back to a resting state by lowering your heart rate and helping to avoid muscle stiffness after a workout.

ACL InjurySince women tend to jump with incorrect knee positioning add plyometric drills, like jumping in place and multiple hops, to your training. Plyometrics teach the body how to spring off the ground faster and how to land properly, allowing the knees to stay controlled (instead of twisting or moving side to side) during take-off and landing and avoiding potential ACL injury.

Maintaining proper form and technique in any exercise helps reduce stress on your muscles, and will also help protect your knees. This can be as simple as learning how to run or walk properly. Female athletes need to learn the proper form, biomechanics and foot strike technique to contribute to a smooth, efficient motion and help prevent overuse injuries to the knees, hips, back and feet.

Our final advice is also very simple -- wear proper shoes. This not only means having the appropriate type of athletic shoe when working out, but also wearing the right shoes on a daily basis. Try to avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time, and if you must wear them, alternate between a cushioned flat and heels. Shoes that are worn out or that do not fit properly may put your knees at risk.

St. Francis Sports Medicine It's All Online!
Women's Sports Medicine Online Guide

It's a fact: women's bodies are different than men's.  That means we should be doing exercises specifically targeted at our physiology. Go to the Women's Sports Medicine page to download a full Conditioning Program Guide, read injury prevention tips, and watch videos of Essential Exercises for Women, so you can keep showing the world what it really means to "play like a girl."

View online guide >>

Thank you for your support of St. Francis Sports Medicine. We want to be you first stop
for athletic and active health care. Please call us at 675-HURT, our 'round the clock
injury "hurtline," with any questions you might have. We can also expedite your
physician appointments or provide a speaker to you group.
Send us an email!

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