Generally speaking, exercise should not be painful. Pain is an alarm system within the body telling you something is not working properly. So, should you keep running when your knee hurts? When do you go to the doctor? Will they ask you to stop running? Can you ignore it? Stop right there.
There are 250,000 anterior cruciate ligament ruptures in the United States every year1. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major stabilizing ligaments of the knee. The ACL, along with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL), play crucial roles in helping the knee function normally. When one or more of these ligaments is injured, daily activities such as going up and down stairs or walking across uneven terrain can become more challenging. Similarly, an injury to one or more knee ligament(s) can make running, cutting, or jumping difficult in sports. Not all ACL injuries are created equal, as some are more severe than others. Let’s take a look at how ACL injuries are classified.
“I don’t really have the words right now, definitely not the right ones at least,” this was the quote from Odell Beckham Jr. following his 2nd ACL tear during Superbowl LVI. Most people know that an ACL tear is a common knee injury that requires a long, tenacious recovery. Once an ACL is torn, the risk of re-tear or tearing the opposite side is 20-35% more likely4. The above statistic may be alarming and is why ACL reconstruction rehabilitation needs to be taken very seriously.
Winter is when many of us hibernate inside to watch Netflix and make sweet treats in the kitchen. But if you are someone looking to build your endurance for later in the year – such as for a race or general fitness – you do not want to take these winter months off before resuming activity in the spring. If you are usually active in the other three seasons of the year, it would greatly behoove you to maintain regular activity in the winter months. Winter is the perfect time for endurance athletes to take it a little easier and focus on building and maintaining their base for a more efficient aerobic system. Here are some tips to consider during the cold months:
We all understand that sometimes injuries can happen. Most people have experienced pain or an injury at some point in their lives. Although injuries can happen to anyone, how we choose to manage them determines our outcomes. Injuries are often underestimated in severity, and people feel they can “give it time” and wait to see if it will get better. This may work for some injuries, but often people are searching the internet or coming into our clinics looking for more guidance on how to get better, quicker.
What better time of year than the New Year to start fresh with a few weight loss and fitness goals, right? You are excited, motivated, and ready to make changes. Day one comes, and you put in a great workout. You head home, eat a good dinner, and get to bed excited to get back to the gym the next day. However, as you wake up and take your first step out of bed, you notice your knee hurts and feels a bit swollen. This is odd because you don’t remember your knee hurting yesterday, and you become concerned. Should you be worried? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that, and the reality is most pain that we experience will disappear and how we label the pain or feel about our pain can affect the outcome.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, the dreaded injury. Many people know ACL tears are a severe injury, involving a long road of recovery despite surgical or conservative intervention. The ACL is a sturdy ligament deep in the knee joint that stabilizes the knee, specifically with rotational movements. There are two ways to injure your ACL, direct contact or non-contact. A direct contact ACL injury is when the knee takes a direct blow from another person or object. A non-contact ACL injury occurs when pivoting, cutting, twisting, or landing on the knee.
When talking with a healthcare provider, medical jargon can quickly become alphabet soup. The knee, for example, houses the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament. The ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL respectively. Huh? What do those words and acronyms even mean? What do these structures do for the knee anyway? In the absence of an explanation, this jargon can become confusing or overwhelming for patients. Let’s take a deeper look at two of the major ligaments in the knee and make some sense of the alphabet soup, shall we?