3 Tips for Gaining Extension

3 Tips for Gaining Extension

3 Tips for Gaining Extension After ACL surgery, gaining back range of motion is essential in the healing process. Without full range of motion, the knee and the joints close to it will be comprised and lose efficiency ultimately causing further pain and injury. During the first phase of ACL rehabilitation, gaining extension or the straightening component of the knee is the most important. If you are unable to get full extension then many surgeons will post pone your surgery until you can achieve full extension after your injury. And after your surgery, if you are unable to gain full extension it can mean long term problems and damage to that knee. Many surgeons will opt to do another procedure in order to break apart scar tissue and help the patient to gain full extension. Here are some great tricks to helping to gain full extension either before ACL surgery or after ACL...
What is Proprioception?

What is Proprioception?

What is Proprioception? Proprioceptors are sensory receptors located within joints, muscles, and tendons that relay information to the subconscious and conscious parts of the central nervous system based on your awareness in space and during movements. They are sensitive to pressure and tension which gives the brain feedback on the position of body parts in space and during movement. Most of this proprioceptive information is processed at the subconscious level so we do not have to spend conscious thought towards maintaining posture or even positioning of body parts. At least, not until you have ACL surgery. The ACL is a special type of proprioceptor called a mechanoreceptor. The ACL tells your body where and how to work during movements like cutting or pivoting,  and any lag in time for feedback to the brain leaves you in a vulnerable position allowing higher risk of ACL injury. After suffering an ACL injury, it is essential to increase your proprioceptive awareness in order to fully rehabilitate the injury and help to prevent further injury to the ACL or injury to the other knee.  This is another reason allograft or cadaver used for ACL grafts is less than ideal for an athlete. How do expect to regain the same movement control and reaction time using a dead tissue without any working mechanoreceptors? After an ACL injury it can be very hard for an athlete to restore their normal reaction times and relearn their proprioceptive ability or the awareness of their knee in positions and movements. Sometimes this is thought of as a mental block or being scared to perform certain movements again following...
Shock Wave Therapy Post ACL Reconstruction

Shock Wave Therapy Post ACL Reconstruction

Shock Wave Therapy Post ACL Reconstruction   Shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to soft tissue or joints in the body. The energy promotes regeneration and stimulates reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues.  Shockwave therapy creates new blood vessel formation, a release of trigger points, stimulates collagen production (your ACL is made up of collagen), reversal of chronic inflammation, improves healing on bone, tendon, and soft tissue, decreases scar tissue build up, helps with pain management and more!! Extracorporeal shock wave therapy enhances early tendon-bone healing and reduces bone tunnel enlargement in hamstring autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. [published online April 29, 2011]. , Am J Sports Med. The application of extracorporeal shock wave therapy to the bone tunnel can significantly enhance the early tendon-bone healing and decreasing tibial tunnel enlargement after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, according to a study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. Am J Sports Med. In my experience, shock wave has helped tremendously with my pain and stiffness as well as increased my range of motion substantially. Before shock wave treatments it was extremely painful for me to do a squat below 90 degrees of flexion and now after treatments of shock wave, I can do my first full range of motion squats in years! So basically, Shockwave is a great non-surgical alternative to breaking up scar tissue, decreasing pain, and enhancing early tendon-bone healing to reduce the possibility of tunnel enlargement after ACL reconstruction. The main reason for a high failure rate in ACL reconstructions has to do with the tunnels drilled into your...
Blood Flow Restriction Training Post ACL Reconstruction

Blood Flow Restriction Training Post ACL Reconstruction

Blood Flow Restriction Training Post ACL Reconstruction After ACL reconstruction, gaining back strength can take up to a year or more. It requires constant effort and training but for the first few months following surgery, only minimal loads and exercises are safe for patients to perform due to the ACL graft healing process and the large amount of muscle atrophy following surgery. Blood Flow Restriction training or BFR is a great tool to use in your rehabilitation program in order to get some huge strength benefits without requiring the patient to lift heavy loads. It is safe, easy, and has minimal stress to the knee joint, making it perfect to integrate into your ACL rehabilitation. BFR requires a blood flow restriction cuff. Many Physical Therapy clinics have a unit or you could purchase your own cuffs for at home use. I have been using the Occlusion Cuff and really like it. It is portable, easy to use, and gives the same amount of compression as the higher end units in Physical Therapy clinics. So what is Blood Flow Restriction training? BFR training uses a restriction cuff placed around the limb in order to prevent the venous return and maintain arterial inflow to that limb. Basically, the blood pools in your surgical leg allowing a greater stimulus for Type 2 muscle fibers.  It is putting the muscles into hypertrophy similar to if you were training at 70% of your 1RM but you only have to use low loads (20-30% of 1RM), allowing an increase in muscle activation, and an increase in protein synthesis (allowing for more muscle building capabilities). This...
Benefits of Electrical Stimulation

Benefits of Electrical Stimulation

Benefits of Electrical Stimulation Electrical stimulation sometimes referred to as e stem or TENS is a recovery technique that can be used in 2 ways; to relieve pain or to re-educate muscles. The devices come in many different sizes and usually have two basic settings; high frequency and low frequency. Low frequency settings are used for muscle re-education and create a constant pulsing involuntary contraction at the muscles. With inactivity, injury, surgery or even stroke, patients can lose control and firing capacity at certain muscle groups. It is the bodies defense mechanism against pain. By applying the pads onto the muscle belly and using the machine to passively contract the muscles, a patient can get the muscle re-firing with more ease. It is best to use active techniques to teach the patient to fire their muscle simultaneously with the help of the machine in order to re-learn the muscle firing capabilities and re-teach the neuromuscular system to active that muscle on it’s own. In untrained individuals or in those rehabilitating from injury, electrical stimulation has been shown to be more effective than voluntary activation’s in eliciting beneficial gains. Research has shown that only 71% of the muscle tissue is activated during maximal efforts in untrained or injured populations. When the ability to maximally recruit motor units is limited with injury or being untrained, it effects your mechanics in turn leading to pain and injury. It’s a perpetual cycle which is why it is SO important to eliminate muscle imbalances before returning to sport!!! High frequency settings create a constant buzzing providing pain relief to the muscle or joint. In...