Avoiding Osteoarthritis Post-ACL Tear

Osteoarthritis is a condition caused by progressive deterioration of cartilage or even the entire joint.  When the cartilage becomes softened, it will begin to wear away causing bones to rub against one and other. Our cartilage is what normally absorbs the stress. Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, and sometimes a limitation in movement. Most common places of discomfort are areas where large biomechanical forces are loaded including the vertebrae, knees, and hips. Those who were athletes from a young age and have had a serious injury (like ACL tears) are more prone to developing osteoarthritis due to extended years of wear and tear on their joints.

In recent years studies have shown an incline of people who are affected by osteoarthritis between the young people, particularly women.

The major factor that increases one’s chances of developing osteoarthritis is experiencing a serious injury, such as an ACL tear.

Those who suffer from osteoarthritis are always recommended to keep your body moving. Simply taking a walk around your neighborhood can reduce pain. Try a new and fun activity like yoga. Strengthening exercises can help build muscle around the affected joints, which will ease the burden placed on these joints, thereby reducing pain. Range-of-motion exercises continue to help maintain and improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Another good technique is taking up an aerobic exercises that will help with energy levels and improving stamina.

As younger and younger athletes are developing osteoarthritis, it is important to learn that the answer is not to stay in bed but to move, move, move. Contact your Sheddon Therapist and see which exercises are right for you!

Lohmander, L. S., Östenberg, A., Englund, M., & Roos, H. (2004). High prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, pain, and functional limitations in female soccer players twelve years after anterior cruciate ligament injury. Arthritis & Rheumatism50(10), 3145-3152.

 By Jessica Osmond