We have linked up with www.nuexcom.co.uk
to bring you
more information on how to maintain a healthy body whilst you exercise.
They are experts at injury care and the rehabilitation of your body
after this back to your full participation in your chosen activity.
It is of the up most importance before we discuss the
cruciate ligaments, specifically the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), that
we first understand the difference between skeletal muscle and ligament
composition and their purpose.
Skeletal Muscle – The most abundant tissue in the human body,
accounting for 40 to 45% of total body weight and composed of muscle fibres
ranging in both thickness and length. Skeletal muscle performs both dynamic
work and static work, providing both movement and stability for the body.
Ligaments – A band of fibrous tissue and unlike skeletal muscle
have a limited vascularisation (blood supply), which affects directly their
Ligaments are pliant and flexible, allowing natural movements of the
bones they are attached to and their purpose is to stabilise the joint.
The vulnerability of any muscle, joint or ligament is
the amount of load placed upon it and the stress factors taking place upon
that structure at any given time. The health of supporting structures, in
this case the knee, the gastrocnemius (calf) flexion, and the quadriceps
group extension, help or impedes the ability of the knee to perform freely
and without injury.
Taking foods and/or a supplement that encourages and supports
vasodilation, such as cucumber, onion, tomatoes, garlic tablets or celery
seeds helps greatly while training and for everyday health.
The cruciate and collateral ligaments are normally tight when the knee
is extended and have therefore executed their purpose and the knee
completed its Range Of Movement (ROM) in this direction.
The ACL controls the forward movement of the tibia on
the femur Diagram shows full extension of the knee
Injury to the ACL
For the purpose of simplicity; an ACL injury will occur in
two environments, the first being external force and the second internal force.
External force can occur when a football player attempts a slide tackle on an
opponents extended leg, crashing into the side of the opponents knee, forcing a
lateral movement of the knee, thus opposing the knees natural ROM.
Internal force can be a sudden change of direction on the legs/feet compromising
both the stability and articulation of the knee joint or by way of falling onto the
knee in an awkward, compromised position as seen in Michael Owens case.
The key is to only demand of the knee joint or any joint that of what it is
designed to do, compromising and/or oppose the natural movement and you compromise or
possibly end participating in the activity that you so enjoy.
A good, clear understanding of the mechanics of the knee joint
and how to keep it both strong and healthy should be understood by every athlete,
amateur or professional, for the injury will hurt just the same regardless of how
much an individual is paid.
In a half knee bend, the traction forces of the knee joint
ligaments is increased by a factor of 5 – 6; in a deep knee bend there is an
increased factor of 12. So when advised to do repetitive deep knee squats or leg
squats with weights, think about your knees as these, over a period of time can
cause a condition known as chondropathia patellae.
It may interest you to know that the patella fulfils four
1. Guiding the musculature of the thigh ensuring correct flexion and extension
of the knee joint.
2. Reduces the friction between itself and the articulating surface of the
3. Braking function; the patella plays an important role in slowing forward
4. Protects the interior of the knee joint.
If you get a chance to have a gait video analysis, for the cost of a good pair
of trainers, then take it, you will be amazed what it shows and how quickly you