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Medicineworld.org: Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears

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Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears




Research suggests that training programs for females to restore balance between hamstring and quadriceps muscles to better support knee joints could help reduce the disproportionately high number of ACL tears in female athletes.

A new study shows that the amount of preparatory muscle action in the muscles spanning the knee joint previous to landings is linked to knee positions that are considered at risk for ACL rupture, said Riann Palmieri-Smith, lead author and assistant professor at the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology.

The ACL is one of the four major ligaments of the knee, and women are 2-8 times more likely to tear this ligament than men are while playing the same sport, said Palmieri-Smith.



Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears

The U-M research suggests that training programs which promote balanced activity of the inner (medial) and outer (lateral) thigh muscles might help protect the ACL.

This preparatory muscle action helps to control the relationship of the shank relative to the thigh. When the shin bone is positioned outward in comparison to the thigh bone, it results in a knock-kneed posture, Palmieri-Smith said. This position is referred to as knee valgus, and increased knee valgus (more knock kneed) has been shown to be associated with ACL injury risk, said Palmieri-Smith, who is also affiliated with U-M's new Sport Injury Prevention Center.

Think of a person who jumps and lands with knock knees (knees turned in) as opposed to a person who lands with minimal or no side-to-side angle at the knee (thigh and shank aligned). The person who lands with their knees turned in too much appears, based on prior research, to be more likely to tear their ACL.

The U-M study showed that when women are preparing to land from a jump they tend to activate the muscles of the outer (lateral) thigh more than the muscles of their inner (medial) thigh, and that this pattern of muscle activity was linked to a larger valgus knee angle, Palmieri-Smith said. The results of the study are important because as researchers establish a relationship between preparatory muscle activity and at risk ACL knee positions, they may be able to develop training regimens to help train muscles to behave differently and better support the knees. "The question is can we train these muscles to be more balanced, to really lower valgus knee angle" We want to restore lateral and medial balance," Palmieri-Smith said.

ACL injuries have long lasting and damaging affects in both the short and long term, Palmieri-Smith said. Evidence suggests that up to 70 percent of successfully treated ACL tears will develop osteoarthritis within five to 14 years.

In the study, scientists fitted 11 women and 10 men with electrodes to monitor muscle activity and markers to monitor knee joint position while they jumped on a force platform that collected ground reaction force data.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Research suggests that training programs for females to restore balance between hamstring and quadriceps muscles to better support knee joints could help reduce the disproportionately high number of ACL tears in female athletes. A new study shows that the amount of preparatory muscle action in the muscles spanning the knee joint previous to landings is linked to knee positions that are considered at risk for ACL rupture, said Riann Palmieri-Smith, lead author and assistant professor at the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology.

Medicineworld.org: Muscle patterns in women and ACL tears

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