6 Tips for Avoiding an ACL Tear

In the United States, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears are common injuries. Each year, approximately 200,000 people tear, sprain or rupture these ligaments.

Whether you are a professional athlete or a fitness buff, it is important for you to take the appropriate steps to protect your body from ACL injuries. Here are 6 tips for avoiding an ACL tear.

Strengthen Your Knees to Improve Your Balance

Your ACL is one of the ligaments that enables your knees to rotate in various directions. Weak knee muscles and bones can put you at risk for ACL tears. It’s essential that you engage in exercise that strengthens your knees and joints. Beneficial exercises include plyometrics, thigh training and hamstring curls.

High-intensity exercises can involve a lot of quick movements and awkward landings. When you are playing sports, any unnatural movement can cause you to tear an ACL.

Working to improve your balance you will build up the underlying muscles in your legs, feet, ankles and knees as well as strengthen your core. As a result, these muscles will become resilient and able to withstand rigorous activity.

Warm Up and Stretch Before Any Activity

It’s never a good idea to engage in any activity before you stretch and warm up your body. Stiff ligaments are prone to injuries. By warming up and stretching, your muscles will loosen up and become more flexible and thus less likely to tear. This will prevent a variety of injuries including sprains and tears.

Wear Proper Footwear

Your choice of footwear is important. While it’s true that you don’t have to buy super expensive shoes, you should buy shoes that fit your feet comfortably.

In addition, you should wear shoes that are appropriate for the type of activity you are performing. If you are a runner, always wear running shoes. If you wear shoes that are designed for basketball, you could get injured as the support provided in the shoes do not match the activity you are attempting.

One way to determine the right type of shoe for you is to shop at stores that specialize in helping customers purchase appropriate footwear. Look at the additional expense as insurance against costly injuries in the future.

Get a Medical Examination

Exercising and participating in sports can expose underlying muscle weaknesses. Before you undertake any strenuous activity, schedule a physical exam with an orthopedic specialist.

During the examination, your doctor will perform tests to discover musculoskeletal vulnerabilities. Your doctor may be able to determine which areas are prone to tears or sprains.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Pushing your body to its limits can have dire consequences. If you notice that your knees don’t respond well to a certain activity, give your body a break. Don’t push through discomfort.

Always pay attention to your body. Look for clues that inform you that something isn’t right. Knee pain is an obvious sign that medical attention may be necessary. Never ignore pain signals.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Your body needs healthy and nutritious foods to perform at an optimal level. This includes daily doses of calcium, protein and minerals.

Foods that support knee and ligament health are green vegetables, lean protein, legumes and nuts. Remember to drink plenty of water to keep your joints lubricated and hydrate your body.

Avoid a steady diet of unhealthy foods such as fried foods, sugary drinks and desserts. Unhealthy foods don’t contain the vitamins and minerals that are necessary to fortify your body. If you eat unhealthy foods, your body won’t have access to the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep you strong and healthy.


While it’s true that ACL injuries are common, you don’t have to be a statistic. Take proper care of your body with the tips above, and it will take amazing care of you in return.

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