Do you use Nordics during ACL reconstruction rehab?
Of course we want to build high levels of eccentric strength in the hamstrings to help balance the quads & hamstring forces at the knee. It has been shown that ACLR athletes (HS graft) can be at greater risk of hamstring strains upon their RTS.
In a group of elite soccer and AFL players (n=15) who were back playing their respective sports, the authors found that the ACLR limb was 13% weaker than the uninjured limb; whereas the healthy control group (n=52) they used to compare against, only had a 2% difference between limbs (Timmins et al, 2015).
Furthermore, mean eccentric strength in ACLR group for the healthy limb was 312N, but only 270N for the ACLR limb – remember from my previous post that scores <337N carries an 4.5x greater increased risk of sustaining a future hamstring strain in the following season.
NB: notice the difference in the blue lines (ACL limb) & orange lines (healthy limb) in my 5/12 post-op ACLR HS graft pt (consent given).
Take home message: It’s important to eccentrically load the hamstrings to make sure the athlete is ready for sport, and there’s nothing worse than getting cleared to RTS from ACLR, only to have the season interrupted with a run of soft tissue injuries!
Timmins et al. (2015) paper
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