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Every athlete fears the common “pop” associated with ACL injury. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important ligaments supporting your knee. ACL injury is commonly observed in sports that include sudden jumping, change in direction, or landing, such as basketball, football, and soccer. 

According to the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), a quarter of a million ACL injuries occur every year in Canada. The good news is, with adequate prevention methods, this injury can be mitigated. 

Let’s have a look at ACL injury some ways to prevent it.

What is ACL injury?

Your knee is supported by four rope like structures, also known as ligaments. These ligaments provide stability and strength to the knee joint. ACL is responsible for rotation of the knee and forward movement of the shin bone. 

Injury of this ligament is often associated with buckling of knee, a distinct pop, swelling and pain, and inability to stand on the affected leg.

The Best Ways to Prevent ACL Injuries

Although ACL tear can happen anytime and to anyone, certain precautions will help to prevent it. Some techniques to prevent ACL injuries include:

Nourish Your Ligament

Adequate hydration and nutrition will keep your ligaments strong and healthy. Include colourful vegetables and fruits in your diet, as well as nuts, lean protein, and legumes. This will help to provide adequate calcium and proteins required to sustain any form of injury. 

Strengthening Exercises

Hamstrings, a group of muscles in the upper part of your leg, play an important role in ACL injuries. Strengthening exercises, such as stability ball hamstring curls, squats and lunges, and deadlifts are some great options to make your hamstrings sturdy. 

Lower the Impact

Individuals with a history of knee injury or older adults are at an increased risk of ACL tear. Training exercises, such as pool training, helps to lower the impact of movement on your knee. 

Practice Safe Landing Techniques

Improper landing technique is the commonest cause of ACL tear. A good landing technique involves:

  • Bending the knees
  • Landing on both feet
  • Keeping knees at shoulder distance when you land

Focus on Improving Balance

ACL injuries are often associated with a sudden change of direction or faulty landing techniques. Improving balance can prevent abnormal pivots and twists responsible for ACL tear. Improved balance can also improve your reaction time and resilience.

Wear Proper Footwear

Ill-fitting footwear can alter your balance and increase the risk of twists and movements that can cause ACL tear. Wear a proper fitting pair of shoes to prevent any risk of injury.

Consult a Physiotherapist

A physiotherapist will help you to understand any musculoskeletal vulnerabilities. You may be recommended some exercises to improve the strength of those weak parts. They can also help you understand if the range of movement of your joint is normal or any underlying disorder is hampering it. In case the joints are not moving properly, you may be advised therapies and exercise to improve them, which will help to prevent injuries. 

Of note, consult a doctor immediately in case of an ACL tear. Anterior cruciate ligament injury treatment includes surgery and physiotherapy. 

Know more about ACL injury treatment options in Ottawa.


Enjoy getting curled in your bed with a heating pad to get relief from this long-standing ordeal of pain? If yes, physiotherapy can come at your rescue. 

While pain is a healthy response of your body to any injury, chronic pain may interfere with your daily activities.  It can also affect your sleep pattern and work. Incidence of chronic pain, such as back pain and pain associated with arthritis, is commoner than what you may expect. It affects almost 18.9% individuals in Canada. 

Physiotherapy may come handy while managing chronic pain. It improves the stability of the joints and flexibility of the muscles. Exercise may seem like sheer torture, but it is one of the best and permanent solutions for chronic pain that is associated with musculoskeletal problems. Let’s understand the role of physiotherapy in chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Any pain that lasts longer than 3 months is considered as chronic pain. In a majority of the cases, pain is not aggravated due to the progression of the underlying condition.  Instead, it is due to succumbing yourself to the vicious cycle. Anyone facing pain tends to avoid anything that triggers pain and prefers to rest. Unfortunately, rest leads to weakness and stiffness, further worsening the condition.

Inability to carry out daily activities also results in a lowered self-esteem. Disturbed sleep and medications may further contribute to low mood.

Role of Physiotherapy in Chronic Pain

Your physiotherapist will work with you to understand your pain, what causes it, and how to manage it. Based on your problem, you will be advised techniques to take control of your pain, such as coping strategies, pain education, pacing activities, relaxation and sleep hygiene. It involves retraining your brain and mind. Benefits of physiotherapy involve:

  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Better mood
  • Improved endurance
  • Stronger cardiovascular system.
Some of the therapies for relieving chronic pain are:
  • Strengthening exercises: Here your therapist will use your body weight or resistance bands to strengthen your muscles. Some examples of exercises include squats, lunges, and push-ups. You may be recommended exercises to strengthen your core muscles, such as gluts, belly, and back, as well as other muscles of the body.
  • Low-impact exercises: These exercises will help to speed up your heart rate while being easy on your joints. Depending on your condition, the physiotherapist will suggest low-impact exercises, such as walking fast or using a stationary bike. These exercises are usually to done before strengthening exercises.
  • Pain-relieving exercises: The therapist will target affected areas to make them more flexible, which reduces pain and improves movement.
  • Stretching exercises: You will be trained to stretch your muscles without overexerting them.
  • Ultrasound and TENS: Ultrasound transmits sound waves to the affected area. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, on the other hand, sends out a low-voltage electric current to the skin overlying the painful area. Both therapies work by blocking pain messages from reaching your brain.
  • Massage: It helps to improve the blood circulation and thus boosts the functioning of muscles and tissues. Of note, massage should be avoided in the affected area, and thus it’s a good idea to get it done from a therapist.
Know more about balance exercises for elderly

Heat and ice applications are also useful for chronic pain. The heat warms up your muscles and improves their movement, while ice lowers inflammation. Micro-current stimulation, cold laser therapy, and manipulation of bones and joints are also useful. 

So, physiotherapy not only helps you to manage a physical complaint of pain, but also helps the body to heal itself.

Find physical therapy clinic in Ottawa.

About Us

We aim to improve your pain and develop personalized treatments while maintaining up-to date practices provided by our qualified experts. It is through dedication and a cohesive team of energetic and educated individuals that we will continue to uphold this vision.

Initial assessment

We will start with identifying the cause of the problem, not only the symptoms. We can then design a tailor-made treatment plan that will help you recover in the shortest period of time, so you can get back to enjoying your life to the fullest.

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