Posted by | May 30 | 2019

How Physiotherapy Helps ACL Rehabilitation

Athletes and the elderly are the most susceptible to ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries. This ligament is in the knee and is often injured through intense physical activity or weakness in the muscles and bones in the knee. If the ligament is torn, ACL physiotherapy is a great way to aid healing. Here’s what you need to know about ACL rehabilitation therapy.

What Is an ACL Injury?

Many people injure their ACL each year and these incidents can happen with both amateur and competitive sports or activities. The ACL is one of four ligaments that stabilize the knee and exceeding the limit of its maximum tension will cause tearing. Sports that require stop-and-go movements are the most likely to result in an ACL injury. These sports include tennis, squash, soccer, football, basketball, handball, and skiing.

Thirty percent of ACL injuries are caused when there is a direct blow to the outside part of the knee, when the foot is rooted to the ground. Seventy percent of ACL injuries occur following a quick deceleration, sudden direction change, or awkward landing on the knee.

What Are the Symptoms of an ACL Injury?

Aside from the sudden onset of pain, it can be a challenge to know if you tore or sprained your ACL. Here are the common signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • Hearing a “pop” at the moment of injury
  • Sudden pain in the knee
  • Immediate swelling of the knee
  • Tenderness on the tip of the shin bone
  • Limited range of motion of the knee
  • Sensation of instability or looseness in the knee

Physiotherapy before or after ACL Surgery

In some cases, the ACL is too damaged and requires reconstructive surgery. Physiotherapy before and after surgery can help expedite the healing process and restore the range of mobility you had before the injury. The physiotherapist may use different methods to treat the knee including strengthening and stretching exercises, manual therapy, pain control, swelling management, range of motion exercises, balance exercises, patient education, and more. To evaluate the injury, the physiotherapist may assess your injury history, function mobility, gait, palpation, range of motion, strength, swelling at the site, balance and proprioception, and more.

At-Home Treatments

To manage an ACL injury with physiotherapy, at-home care is also important. In the first 72 hours of your injury, you should do the following:

  • Rest: Restrict walking and standing to essential tasks alone
  • Ice: Apply it to the knee to reduce swelling and pain
  • Compression: Use a compression garment or elastic bandage to tie up the knee
  • Elevation: Keep your knee raised with a cushion or pillow for support and comfort
  • Referral: Consult your doctor or physiotherapist for ongoing care

Improve Your ACL Injury with Physiotherapy

If you have injured your knee and sprained your ACL, physiotherapy can help you improve your range of motion and strength, and reduce your swelling and pain. With proper anterior cruciate ligament treatment and care, it’s possible for your knee to return to its previous level of function. At MedRehab Group, we will work with you to treat your chronic pain, physical health conditions, and injuries. We serve clients in Brampton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Toronto, Richmond Hill/Maple, Vaughan, Woodbridge, and Pickering. We strive to do our best to meet our clients’ expectations. Contact us at 1-888-409-4058 to book your first knee pain physiotherapy consultation and treatment.


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