Today is World Physical Therapy Day – lets celebrate our amazing work in keeping our clients and patients moving, active, fit and healthy.
Football is now the top participation sport for women and girls in the uk with over 3 million registered players. The Women’s Super League (WSL) is a fully professional league with the season taking place from September – May.
With any participation in sport comes the risk of injury. Whilst many injuries are the same for women and men, the prevalence is different. If you have any interest in football you’ve probably heard of the dreaded ACL injury. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a strong ligament inside of the knee joint. It gives the knee joint some stability and sends messages to the brain about what position the knee is – this information and stability helps us with our balance, coordination and strength. The ACL is a vital part of our knee anatomy especially for sports that involve lots of twisting, turning, change of speed and change of direction.
Women rupture their ACL’s playing football 2.8 times more often than men. This is thought to be due to differences in knee and hip anatomy, hormonal fluctuations which affect the balance and coordination, differences in the coordination patterns of knee stiffening and imbalances between the leg muscles and the core muscles.
An ACL injury can stop you from playing for 12 months, usually requires surgery if your aim is to return to playing football and then comes with a very hard rehabilitation programme. The aims of rehab are not only to get you back to playing, but to reduce the chances of your surgery failing and to reduce the very high risk that your other knee may become injured. The surgery failure rate in non-professional sports participants is very high due to the lack of physiotherapy input and guidance through the full 12 months of rehab.
If you play football and would like some advice and about how to avoid injury, or maybe you are carrying an injury that you should get checked out, come and visit us at one of our clinics in Stevenage or Hemel Old Towns.
Call to speak to one of our friendly team on 01438 317037
The female ACL: Why is it more prone to injury?. J Orthop. 2016;13(2):A1–A4. Published 2016 Mar 24. doi:10.1016/S0972-978X(16)00023-4