Asymmetry During ACL Rehabilitation

Eliminate Asymmetry During ACL Rehabilitation

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Asymmetry during ACL rehabilitation is a common issue following Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury. ACL injuries are common among athletes and active individuals, often requiring surgical intervention followed by extensive rehabilitation. While the surgery aims to restore stability to the knee joint, asymmetries in movement patterns can persist post-surgery, affecting function and increasing the risk of re-injury. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of movement asymmetry post ACL surgery and delve into the role of Force Decks in addressing these challenges.

Understanding Movement Asymmetry

Movement asymmetry refers to the imbalance or discrepancy in the way the body moves and distributes forces between its two sides. Asymmetry during ACL rehabilitation after surgery often presents as differences in strength, coordination, and proprioception between the injured and non-injured limbs. These imbalances can lead to altered movement patterns, compensations, and ultimately, a reduced ability to perform activities of daily living or return to sports safely.

The Importance of Addressing Asymmetry during ACL Rehabilitation

Addressing movement asymmetry is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Prevention of Re-injury: Asymmetries increase the risk of re-injury, not only to the ACL but also to other structures in the lower extremities.
  2. Optimising Function: Balanced movement patterns are essential for optimal function, whether it’s walking, running, or participating in sports.
  3. Enhancing Performance: Athletes rely on symmetry and efficient movement patterns to perform at their best and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

How do we Address Asymmetry? 

There are several strategies we can use to help address asymmetries. These include using visual feedback cues such as mirrors or recording video to correct any unwanted movement patterns.  Single leg exercises are also essential during ACL rehabilitation to eliminate the potential for the uninjured leg to compensate. These exercises might include things like single leg squats, single leg extension or single leg press for example.  Finally we can also use cutting edge technology such as Force Decks that provide real time feedback as we move. These tools measure pressure and weight distribution during dozens of movement and can tell us precisely when and how much you are favouring your ACL injured limb.

What are Force Decks?

Force Decks are a cutting-edge tool utilised in professional sports teams, research organisation and quality physiotherapy practices (like SportsPlus) to assess and address movement asymmetry. These platforms consist of pressure-sensitive plates that measure ground reaction forces and provide detailed insights into how force is distributed through the body during various movements and exercises. Some common tests that we might use include squatting with or without weight and various jumping tasks on one or two legs.

How Can Force Decks Help ACL Rehabilitation

  1. Objective Assessment: Force Decks provide quantitative data, allowing physiotherapists to
    objectively measure and track movement imbalances over time.
  2. Targeted Rehabilitation: Armed with precise information, therapists can design personalised rehabilitation programs targeting specific areas of weakness or imbalance.
  3. Biofeedback Training: Force Decks can be integrated into biofeedback training, enabling
    patients to visually and kinesthetically understand their movement patterns and make real-
    time adjustments.
  4. Monitoring Progress: Regular assessments using Force Decks allow for ongoing monitoring
    of progress, helping to guide adjustments to the rehabilitation program as needed. There is a common saying in our industry that if you aren’t assessing, you’re guessing.

If you aren’t assessing, you’re guessing.

– Health industry proverb –

Movement asymmetry post ACL surgery is a common challenge that can impede recovery and increase the risk of re-injury. However, with the advancement of technology like Force Decks, our team have powerful tools at their disposal to assess, address, and monitor these imbalances
effectively. By integrating these tools into rehabilitation programs, we can help individuals not only recover from ACL injuries but also optimise their movement patterns and enhance performance in sports and daily life.

Remember, restoring balance is not just about the knee; it’s about restoring harmony to the entire kinetic chain, enabling individuals to move freely, confidently, and without limitation. If you want to undertake an assessment on the Force Decks and our other professional level equipment, book an Athletic Performance Assessment online to learn about your asymmetry and optimise the way you move today!

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