Peak Performance Sports & Spine October 2019





The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the most important ligaments in the leg. When it is sprained or torn, the ACL will make it difficult for the person injured to return to the activity they were performing when the injury occurred. Often, these injuries happen when a person stops suddenly, pivots with a foot firmly planted, quickly changes direction, lands awkwardly after jumping, or is hit. ACL injuries are common for people who participate in sports or physical activity. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, over 200,000 ACL injuries occur throughout the nation each year. This is why ACL rehab is so essential for many physically active people. Advances of ACL Rehab The purpose of ACL rehabilitation is to return strength, range of motion, stability, neuromuscular control, and weight-bearing to the leg with the injury. The goal is to ensure the patient can return to their activity as safely as possible. Over the years, ACL rehab has undergone scientific development, progressing far past what it used to be in the 1980s.

Athletes who injured their ACL in the 1980s were encouraged to make protecting the area their top priority. Patients were advised not to move their knee for months after surgery, and they only began to actively move the knee between 9–12 months after receiving the operation. Today, the therapy is much different. Patients are immediately put through rehabilitation, which has been proven to lead to better outcomes for recovery. What Is Neuroplasticity? Through scientific and technological advancements, a new development has been discovered through ACL rehab. We’re learning that when someone injures their knee, it also changes their brain. People become more conscious of how their injured knee is moving, and the brain becomes more reliant on sight rather than instinct to move it. When athletes start relying on sight rather than instinct, it puts them at further risk of injury. This can result in neuroplastic changes. Neuroplasticity is the process in which our brains make new connections through experience. When an athlete is injured, it changes the way they think about the injured body part. How Strobe Glasses Can Help Peak Performance is on the cutting edge of this type of rehab and the technology that supports it. Through the combined efforts of our Senaptec station and strobe glasses, we create a rehabilitation process that will help

our patients overcome an ACL injury — not depending solely on their eyesight but relying on instinct. Strobe glasses are effective in this way due to the visual distraction they create for the eyes. The brain is then forced to use its sensory system rather than leaning so heavily on its visual process. Thus, the leg and knee are required to move more instinctually. Our team at Peak Performance has been using this process for the past year and a half, and we are keen to help patients who need to go through this type of rehab. If you or someone you know could benefit from this form of treatment, call the clinic today. We can get you back to the activities you enjoy.

–Greg Huefner

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