If you ask many sports fans what an “anterior cruciate ligament sprain” is when it comes to their sport, they might not be able to give you the details on why this is such a devastating injury—however, when phrased with the acronym “ACL,” just about any sports fan will recognize what you’re talking about.
ACL sprains are common in many sports, but no sport has the widespread concern of this injury like soccer. Because 90 percent of the sport is based around running, sliding, kicking and moving the lower body, ACL sprains are atop the list of sports injuries in Brampton for soccer players young and old.
Soccer is widely touted as the most conditioned sport in the world—so why are ACL sprains so common? Can they be avoided or mitigated in any way? Read ahead to learn more about this frequent injury in the world of soccer.
A heightened risk for injury
For those who don’t already know, your anterior cruciate ligament is located in your knee and is primarily used to stabilize your legs against forward and backward motions.
The reason that soccer players are the prime candidates for an ACL damaging injury is simple: the game revolves around constant movement that can excessively strain the ligament. Think about it—aside from free kicks, throw-ins and time-outs, soccer players are moving constantly around the field, with no reason to stop. In fact, they’re also constantly changing direction, exerting force through their legs when kicking and pushing their lower body to perform optimally for period after period.
Even the most conditioned soccer players in the world can be afflicted by an ACL sprain at any time—all it takes is a quick shift in direction, a foot planted at a strange angle or the accidental strike of an opposing player to put a fatal strain on the ACL.
When it comes to playing soccer, many players understand the risk that they’re placing on their ACL—which is why many take precautions to strengthen their ligaments to stand up to grueling opposition that may hinder a lesser athlete. For example, many players specifically condition their knees and lower body to endure constant motion, much like a marathon runner would. Other players will also improve their calisthenics to strengthen the ligaments themselves.
While there’s no real way to prevent an ACL sprain, it’s important to also realize that this injury is no different from other sports injuries in Brampton when it comes to risk: the potential is there. Smart athletes will understand the risk, train to condition themselves against it and play the game in such a way that keeps them as much out of harms way as possible.
Affliction and recovery
There’s always a concern for any athlete suffering from an ACL injury as to whether or not they’ll be able to play their sport to its fullest again. The great news is that an ACL sprain or even a tear does not mean that an athlete’s days are over—with the proper medical attention, rehabilitation and reconditioning, many athletes do return to their sport to play another day.