Derrick Rose is out for the season yet again with a torn meniscus. Knee injuries occur every day and have become a hot topic in sports — especially when a star athlete falls victim. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (2008) nearly 70% of knee injuries are considered non-contact injuries as seen with Derrick Rose in 2011 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and now, a torn meniscus. Rose’s injuries happened without him being pushed, fouled or influenced in any way by the players around him — much like Darrelle Revis’ ACL tear in 2012.
The knee is a vulnerable joint in the body due to its lack of movement side-to-side and rotationally. Here are three tips that everyone can benefit from in preventing non-contact knee injuries:
Most athletes only focus on speed training, with little-to-no attention on training the body to rapidly slow down or change direction while moving at top speed. Most injuries happen when slowing down and/or changing directions, as seen in both of Derrick Rose’s knee injuries. Female athletes can greatly benefit from deceleration training, as having naturally wider hips increases the chance of knee injuries.
Exercises: Deceleration Mechanics Drills
Each joint has an optimal range of motion, which can only be achieved and maintained through stretching programs. A lack of flexibility causes muscle imbalances and tight and overactive muscles, which will surely lead to injury.
Exercises: Spend time restoring flexibility through stretching, yoga, Pilates and foam rolling.
As we age, balance becomes even more prevalent. In sports and everyday life, balance is required when changing direction. Start incorporating exercises that require you to balance your body weight. Increasing your balance will greatly decrease your change of injury.
Exercises: Try single-leg supported exercises such a shoulder press or bicep curls while standing on one leg.