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Anterior Cruciate Ligament - Knee Injury

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We have linked up with 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 healing process.

Ligaments are pliant and flexible, allowing natural movements of the bones they are attached to and their purpose is to stabilise the joint.

Knee Joint and Ligaments
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

Knee Tendon and Muscles
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.

Tension Factors
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.
The Patella
It may interest you to know that the patella fulfils four important factors:-

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 femur.

3. Braking function; the patella plays an important role in slowing forward motion.

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 could improve.

Philip Cutts Nuexcom Health & Medical
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