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ACL injuries in female footballers

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by scotfoot, Sep 16, 2023.

  1. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

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    ACL injuries are a lot more common in female footballers compared to male and a number of potential reasons for this have been proposed for this . One is the Q angle at the knee, that is the angle formed between the femur and the bones of the lower leg.

    A recent study has demonstrated that the Q angle can be reduced in flat footed individuals by foot strengthening and so perhaps foot strengthening could help reduce ACL injuries.
  2. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    The average Q angle for men is 14˚ and for women is 17˚; an excess of 15-20˚ in Q angle value is typically considered to contribute to knee extensor dysfunction and patellofemoral pain [4-11].29 Jan 2023.

    Inside The WSL: Why are ACL injuries so common in ...

    Sky Sports
    https://www.skysports.com › football › news › inside...
    21 Apr 2023 — Female footballers are up to six times more likely to suffer an ACL injury; England captain Leah Williamson ruptured her ACL on Wednesday ...


    "Conclusion: This present study demonstrated that SFE effectively improved Q-angle and NDT in individuals with flexible flatfoot. " Poomsalood et al 2023

    Presently, specific foot strengthening exercises are not generally recommended as a way of reducing the risk of ACL injury in football players

    IMO this is a major error. If a athlete jumps and then lands on one foot, the foot will pronate and the knee will have a tendency to move towards the midline . Strong intrinsics can help control the rate of pronation and tibial rotation, both directly and by proprioceptive input.

  3. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    So landing on one foot or cutting maneuvers can cause excessive pronation of the foot and knee valgus. Perhaps a medial post could help with this, or simple foot strengthening, or even both, and so help reduce the risk of ACL injury.

    Research shows that semi professional football players can get faster with toe flexor training, which indicates that using balance boards, calf raises, and running around in more minimal shoes, produces feet that still have nowhere near optimal toe flexor power.

    Focused toe flexor training does not need to be difficult. Just a Theraband around the big toe and then plantar flexion will probably give you a good return for the time spent.

    IMO exercises like toes spread out, marble pickups or calf raises are near useless when it comes to strengthening the IFM.
  4. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    If you are a professional footballer you might think that calf raises, single leg balance exercises, and running around in more minimal shoes/boots ,would be enough to optimize toe flexor/foot strength . However, in my experience ,where n=1 ,this is far from the case.

    Recently the Novabow System ( patented) was trialed by a current professional footballer with bilateral, longstanding ankle and calf problems.

    Here is what he had to say after a short period of time ( about 5-6 weeks) .

    My name is ..... and I am a professional footballer currently playing in the Scottish Championship. I have always struggled with foot and ankle pain as a result of the demands of the sport (and my size). I never used to condition these areas, I had always thought calf-raises and SL balance work would be enough. After suffering a stress-fracture in my navicular last season, Gerry gave me a Novabow device to try. The difference has amazed me. My feet feel so much stronger and more robust. The chronic pain in my ankles and calf muscles has now subsided. It’s difficult to say empirically whether my agility has changed, but I definitely feel more confident and explosive on the turn. I have noticed my cutting manoeuvres are pain free and am able to put more force through the ball of my foot and toes. Since using the device, I have achieved a record counter-movement jump score, as well as almost doubling my accelerations and decelerations in 90 minute games.
    The Novabow has really helped me.

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