ACL ‘Play It Safe’ program focuses on prevention
There are about 250,000 ACL injuries every year, especially for young men 20 and under and men older than 40. A new program is designed to prevent ACL injuries for all ages.
You name it, Kay Acton does it. The 56-year-old avid runner is also a skier, hiker and cyclist, until a 2017 ski accident forced her into a time-out that hurt in more ways than one.
Acton explained, “My legs were a little tired and it was a little icy and I fell as I was going down. My left ski released, my right did not and immediately I felt the tear.”
Kay tore her ACL.
Trent Nessler, PT, MPT, DPT, National Director Sports Innovation, Select Medical, said, “When an athlete is fatigued, they are more likely to get injured.”
That’s why Nessler designed the ACL ‘Play It Safe’ program. It takes several approaches, including pre and post exercise routines, resistance bands and a rubber stability trainer. It also forces you to train when you’re already tired.
Nate Bower, PT, DPT, SCS, Champion Sports Medicine shared, “They perform stability and dynamic control exercises, which just continue to stress the body in a fatigue state.”
An Australian Study confirmed that soccer players who trained in a fatigued state suffered fewer hamstring injuries than the players who were non-fatigued.
Nessler continued, “What we found is that if we trained them in that fatigued state, they actually carry that over better to their actual performance on the field.”
After surgery, Kay took part in the program and is now back on the slopes. She had a faster recovery time than her identical twin sister who tore her ACL just four days before Kay did.
“This program again was more aggressive and also gave me more ammunition to take with me when I do my other activities. I’m really proud of where I am now,” said Acton.
Nessler has implemented this program at a couple of college level sports teams and have seen a 60 percent reduction in lower extremity injuries and a reduction of time lost out of the game due to injury by 40 percent. His program offers a free app called ACL Play It Safe that includes a training video available on IOS and Android.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.