The ACL and Knee Valgus
Knee Valgus is when the knee naturally buckles inward during a load like a squat. Just like in the Q Angle, knee valgus increases the lateral force on the knee joint. Athletes with knee valgus are more likely to suffer from chronic knee pain and knee injuries due to the increased force at the knee joint over time.
Knee valgus typically occurs because of weak hips, tight ankles, and impaired quad and hamstring function. Men and women alike can suffer from knee valgus but it is typically more detrimental for a female athlete because of the likelihood of having a wider Q Angle and over pronation at the foot typically causing an even more exaggerated case of knee valgus. It’s more common for women to have knee valgus because of the typically wider Q Angle, diminished hip strength, and from being taught to sit like a lady. Repeated positions like sitting with your legs crossed can cause further muscle compensations leading to increased knee valgus over time.
Knee valgus can be corrected by incorporating a proper strength training program to increase quadriceps, glute, and hamstring strength and decreasing tension at the ankles. Other muscles in the thigh and hip like the adductors and abductors can play a huge role in knee valgus as well. The importance of ACL injury prevention programs in athletes with knee valgus can play a humongous role in preventing ACL injury and even chronic knee pain. Just remember the mechanics of the way you sit and the way you squat are going to be replicated on the basketball court or the soccer field. By improving your positions in all areas we can prevent and eliminate knee pain and risk of ACL injury.