ACL Injury Prevention

ACL Injury Prevention

Article by John Miller

ACL Injury Prevention Program

ACL Injury

What Is Your ACL?

“You’ve ruptured your ACL. You’re out for the season.” are the words that every athlete fears.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL injury is one of the most significant season-ending injuries in a sport that recent research has shown can be avoided or reduced by an ACL injury prevention program.

Most contact sports players who require a change of direction on a planted foot are susceptible to ACL rupture. Sports include football, rugby, rugby league, netball, basketball, skiing and touch football. Plus, those sports that can require you to land on an unstable or awkward position, e.g. gymnastics or volleyball, can also risk your ACL.

Research has also shown that female athletes are more likely than males to sustain this devastating injury due to female hormone and muscle imbalances. Statistics report that females have a 4 to 8 times higher risk of ACL injury when participating in basketball and soccer. It is not unusual for a team to have between one and three ACL injuries per season.

What Causes an ACL Injury?

The good news is that most ACL injuries occur without contact with another player. The best way to prevent an ACL injury is through education and ACL injury prevention training. A May 2012 article from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that female participants in an ACL injury prevention program had a risk reduction of 52%, and males had an 85% risk reduction. Now that’s significant!

The PhysioWorks ACL Injury Prevention Program integrates player education with quadriceps, hamstrings, core, hip and lower extremity strengthening. Plus, it addresses other techniques, proprioception and balance control issues along with sport-specific agility movements. While using the generic ACL injury prevention program is good, we like to use an individually customised ACL prevention program that addresses the specific player deficits. This way, our ACL prevention program should provide even better results for the individual player.

Our ACL Injury Prevention Programs aim to keep players on the field and injury-free.

If an ACL injury prevention program interests you or your teammates, please get in touch with PhysioWorks. We can happily arrange individual, team, club or school screening, education, coach and player training, plus implementation and injury rate analysis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with PhysioWorks for more information.

Common Causes - Knee Pain

Knee pain can have many origins from local injury, referred pain, biomechanical issues and systemic issues. While knee pain can appear simple to the untrained eye, a thorough assessment is often required to ascertain the origin of your symptoms. The good news is that once a definitive diagnosis is determined, most knee pain quickly resolves with the correct treatment and rehabilitation.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee Meniscus Injuries

Kneecap Pain

Knee Arthritis

Knee Tendon Injuries

Muscle Injuries

Knee Bursitis

Children’s Knee Conditions

Other Knee-Related Conditions

Knee Surgery

Knee FAQs

For specific information regarding your knee pain, please seek the assistance of a healthcare professional with a particular interest in knee condition, such as your knee physiotherapist.

Acute Injury Signs

Acute Injury Management.

Here are some warning signs that you have an injury. While some injuries are immediately evident, others can creep up slowly and progressively get worse. If you don't pay attention to both types of injuries, chronic problems can develop.

For detailed information on specific injuries, check out the injury by body part section.

Don't Ignore these Injury Warning Signs

Joint Pain

Joint pain, particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist joints, should never be ignored. Because these joints are not covered by muscle, pain here is rarely of muscular origin. Joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a professional diagnosis.


If you can elicit pain at a specific point in a bone, muscle, or joint, you may have a significant injury by pressing your finger into it. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should probably see your health professional.  


Nearly all sports or musculoskeletal injuries cause swelling. Swelling is usually quite obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may feel as though something is swollen or "full" even though it looks normal. Swelling usually goes along with pain, redness and heat.

Reduced Range of Motion

If the swelling isn't obvious, you can usually find it by checking for a reduced range of motion in a joint. If there is significant swelling within a joint, you will lose range of motion. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If there are any, you probably have an injury that needs attention.


Compare sides for weakness by performing the same task. One way to tell is to lift the same weight with the right and left sides and look at the result. Or try to place body weight on one leg and then the other. A difference in your ability to support your weight is another suggestion of an injury that requires attention.

Immediate Injury Treatment: Step-by-Step Guidelines

  • Stop the activity immediately.
  • Wrap the injured part in a compression bandage.
  • Apply ice to the injured part (use a bag of crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables).
  • Elevate the injured part to reduce swelling.
  • Consult your health practitioner for a proper diagnosis of any serious injury.
  • Rehabilitate your injury under professional guidance.
  • Seek a second opinion if you are not improving.