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South County Physical Therapy to host ACL seminar for female athletes

November 8, 2012

WESTBOROUGH _ Did you know that one in every 100 female high school athletes will sustain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and that girls are two to 10 times more likely to sustain an ACL injury compared to males who play the same sport?

Anterior cruciate ligament, commonly referred to as ACL, is one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone. An ACL injury is a tear in that ligament, where the ligament either gets a small tear in it or the ligament and part of the bone separate from the rest of the bone. ACL injuries are associated with sports that require jumping, pivoting and cutting such as basketball, soccer and volleyball. A surprising 70% of ACL injures are attributed to non-contact injuries.

One reason females have a higher risk of incurring an ACL injury is due to the greater differences in strength between the quadriceps muscles and the same side hamstring muscles. Hamstring muscles are weaker in females than males, making females more susceptible to getting an ACL injury. Studies have shown that a training and prevention program can help to decrease the risk of an ACL injury.

South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT), a leading physical therapy organization with a 25-year history of providing services and educational programs to the community, will be leading an informative and provocative session regarding ACL on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Westborough High School (WHS). WHS female athletes and Westborough Gibbons Middle School seventh and eighth graders will be given the opportunity to learn more about ACL injuries and how to prevent them in a seminar presented by the renowned physical therapists from South County Physical Therapy, Inc.

“I’m very excited that South County agreed to present this information to our female athletic population because I’m not sure our girls really understand the potential risk of injury; or if they do, don’t understand it can be reduced or prevented,” said WHS Athletic Trainer Sarah Carver.

“An ACL injury takes you out of competition for a minimum of eight months. It’s pretty scary to realize that one out of every 100 high school aged, female athletes involved in cutting or jumping sports will sustain an ACL injury. (One out of every 10 collegiate female athletes will sustain an ACL injury!) Given those statistics, it is empowering to know that you can personally and significantly decrease your risk of having a season-ending ACL injury,” said South County Physical Therapist Nancy Siegal. “The first step to prevention is understanding the problem. This seminar will inform the girls about ACL injuries and prevention, and will encourage them to take control of their own health and well-being through education and preparation. It will be a fun event about a serious problem!”

The seminar, “The Why and How of ACL Prevention,” will include basic anatomy of the knee, and highlight the mechanism of ACL injuries, why females are more prone to ACL injuries, and what female athletes can do to help reduce the risk of sustaining an injury.

“I have two teenaged daughters who play soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. In the last two years I’ve seen three of their teammates sidelined by an ACL tear. It’s upsetting to the whole team when a player is injured like that,” Siegal said. “The girls know it is a very real problem, but they don’t know a lot about why it happens, and specifically what they can do to help decrease their own risk of having a torn ACL. This seminar will help them understand the problem, and empower them to take control of their own health and well-being, so they can continue to play the sports they love to play!”

South County Physical Therapists who will be presenting the seminar include: Nancy Siegal, PT, MS; Jennifer Lenkauskas, MSPT; and Laura Turner, PT.

“We are very pleased to offer this program to the Westborough community,” said Cathy Hoover-Smith, founder of South Country Physical Therapy, Inc. “As part of our ongoing commitment to educate, inform and help people of all ages live healthier lives with less injury and pain, we will be hosting more of these programs in the months to come.”

South County Physical Therapy, Inc. is dedicated to providing their patients with quality, personalized rehabilitative care in an environment that is safe, comfortable and compassionate. South County provides orthopedic physical therapy and rehabilitation for the weekend and competitive athlete, injured worker, post-surgical patient, complex pain patient, and general orthopedic patient.

To register for this seminar, contact Sarah Carver at WHS in the school’s training room, or call her at 508-836-7730 ext. 5163, or call Nancy Siegal at 508-389-9912.

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