– Anterior cruciate ligament sprain
– Hamstring strain/tear
– Groin strain/tear
Anterior cruciate ligament sprain
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is like a strong elastic band inside the knee which helps to stabilise the knee joint on many movements. The most common way of spraining or tearing this ligament is through twisting and is why it is more prevalent in sports that involve a lot of changes of direction such as football, rugby and skiing. Completely ruptured ligaments often require surgery followed by an extensive rehabilitation period. However, if there is a smaller tear or mild sprain, conservative treatment such as physiotherapy can often be successful. It will generally require a lot of stability work, involving balance and strengthening exercises. However, improving the strength and stability of the ACL and surrounding knee structures prior to injury means you are less likely to injure it in the first place!
This short video shows a good visual demonstration of an ACL injury, and this one shows a common surgical method using a hamstring tendon graft.
The hamstrings are the group of muscles on the back of your thigh. There are 3 on each leg and they travel downwards from the pelvis to just below the knee. Their primary functions are bending the knee and extending the leg behind you. Commonly these are caused by overstraining or overstretching, and frequently occur in sports where there is sprinting involved such as football, athletics and rugby.
The aim of treatment initially is to minimise pain and restore movement before progressing to strengthening and rehabilitation exercises.
Pain that occurs in the inside of the thigh due to tear in the muscles of the adductors. These are muscles that originate from the pelvis and insert onto the inside of the thigh When contracted they move the leg toward the midline of the body especially in running and kicking. This injury is common in footballers, sprinters, hurdlers, horse riders and kick boxers. Symptoms include pain when squeezing the thighs together, swelling and sometimes bruising in the inside of the thigh.
Assessment is usually to exclude any other possible causes such as lower back problems.
Treatment comprises of soft tissue massage, acupuncture, stretching, muscle energy techniques and joint mobilisations. This is then followed by progressive strength training to return to activity or sports.