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8. Preventing ACL Injuries

Research has found that Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears occur four times more frequently in females than in males involved in the same amount of sports participation.

The difference in female and male neuromuscular control, the way muscles contract and react, is one of four primary factors contributing to why women are more susceptible to knee injuries than men. Other discrepancies are anatomical (men and women are structurally differently), hormonal (women's hormonal makeup affects the integrity of the ligament, making it more lax), and bio-mechanical (the positions our knees get in during athletic activities).

To counteract these pre-existing inclinations, physical therapists recommend that female athletes perform a series of exercises to lower their increased chances of ACL tears.

A preventative program designed by a physical therapist would aim to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, as well as to counteract incorrect existing patterns of movement that may be damaging to the athlete's joints. These incorrect movement patterns may put them at greater risk for injuring their ACLs.

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