January 06, 2010Most Vulnerable Player MVP - Most Vulnerable Player: ACL Injuries in Young Female Athletes KT Tape is proud to sport the badge for winning "Best of Show for Consumer Health Care" at the 2009 National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting. And we're proud of NATA for teaming with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to launch a public service campaign aimed at young women. The ad shows a trophy with the title "MVP - Most Vulnerable Player." The ads are intended to promote awareness of the increased risk of ACL injury for female athletes. According to this article on Athletic Business.com, it's a problem that's taking many talented young women off the field and out of action for months at a time. "Young female athletes are up to eight times more likely than young male athletes to injure their ACLs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 46,000 girls and women under the age of 19 suffered an ACL sprain or tear in 2006, and almost 30,000 required surgery, which often keeps patients out of action for six months or longer." --from "Joint Efforts" by Michael Popke, AthleticBusiness.com So what can young women, or any athlete for that matter, do to mitigate their risk for ACL injury? "While there is no single exercise that can prevent ACL injuries, the chances of such an injury happening can be lowered by performing training drills that emphasize power and agility and by improving muscular reactions with jumping and balance drills. This is especially true for female athletes." Letha "Etta" Griffin, AAOS spokesperson and orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Peachtree Orthopedic Clinic in Atlanta. The Santa Monica Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Foundation has developed its own ACL Prevention Project training program to help decrease the number of ACL injuries in female soccer players. It includes this specially designed 15 minute training session that replaces the traditional warm-up 2-3 times per week. The link includes the complete workout, plus a diagram of how to set up the field for the drills. For information on how to properly tape for knee pain, check out an instructional video here.