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ACL Natural Healing Program

Our Studio has developed an unique exercise program specifically designed to restore proper biomechanics which allows the body to  heal naturally from the injury, including full ACL tear. The case studies and detailed biomechanics principles have been published in our paper ACL Natural Healing - Biomechanics Principles for Knee Injuries.  
The program is being currently implemented by a number of physiotherapists across Australia
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It is widely believed amongst healthcare professionals and the public, that due to limited blood supply to the joint, the ACL cannot heal naturally and surgery is usually recommended as a primary treatment. There is a limited research to date explaining the role of synovial fluid in the process of healing any synovial joint.

Fully torn ACLs can heal  – by restoring correct biomechanics at the hip and  knee  joint, we can create an optimal environment for healing and offer an alternative pathway to commonly recommended surgical procedures with highly predictable and successful outcomes.  

The process is less invasive, quicker and in rare case of reoccurrence, allows the body to heal again.

The same program can be applied for any knee related injury as it significantly accelerates rehabilitation process, helps to maintain the ongoing health at the knee joint and prevents age related ‘wear and tear’

Following a number of years of working with clients experiencing various knee conditions, our Studio has developed an unique exercise program specifically designed to restore proper biomechanics at the hip and the knee joint which allows the body to  heal naturally from the injury, including full ACL tear and  reducing the risk of reoccurrence. The case studies and detailed biomechanics principles have been published in our paper ACL Natural Healing - Biomechanics Principles for Knee Injuries.    It’s important to mention that the traditional rehab exercises applied widely in mainstream physiotherapy, especially in the initial stage of quad activation, actually make the healing of ACL impossible. The attempts to fully extend the knee before ACL is healed would ultimately hinder the process - hence limited evidence has been presented to date.  

None of the muscles in human body work in isolation – for effective movement, the body should use basic physics by applying mechanical advantage via air compression, combination of  levers, the system of pulleys and appropriate anchor points.

This is especially vital at the hip joint where the pelvis provides stable base for the entire body.

If you’re a healthcare professional and would like to find our more, participate in clinical trials, or attend our training courses, please contact us at studio@backtobalancepilates.com 

​or register for our masterclass HERE

If you’re a person currently experiencing knee injury and working with a physiotherapist who applies pressure in order to fully extend your knee without applying correct activation sequence, please send them our paper 

ACL Natural Healing - Biomechanics Principles for Knee Injuries

If your health care provider still insists on full extension of the knee early in the process, please reach out to us so we can put you in touch with appropriately experienced practitioner, who will fully support you in your healing journey.   

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Program  Stages

 Thorough Assessment of Posture  - Active Postural Lines and Anchor Points

 The fist step is to assess existing overcompensation patterns  in relation to required alignment for healing.

In particular  -the ratio of engagement between the front line  (ankle plantarflexion  - knee extension via VMO/Iliacus-TVA bracing),  the backline (calves, hamstrings, add magnus ), and correct anchor points (pelvis - lats and  serratus)

  Stage I

1. Non Load Bearing Activation Drills - knee, hip and ankle mobility drills , sitting or lying down to activate/reinforce  VMO/Core line, breathwork, 

2. Balancing anchor points, pelvis stabilisation

3. Switching off excessive  lateral and back line engagement (including releases)

 Stage 2

1. Introducing Bilateral Load Bearing – approx. 6 months

2. Strength training  - our modified body weight exercises (supported or unsupported) specifically target VMO/core/pelvic floor, ankles and diaphragm and link them so they can work together. Very detailed instructions are provided around toe placement, patella alignment to ensure correct outcome.   All exercises at the stage are body weight only with small props (pilates ball or a towel)

3. Continuing with mobility drills  

4. Bicycle  - specific instructions provided to maintain VMO/ Iliacus and core engagement

Applying bilateral stage for longer creates a positive feedback loop in the brain to cross-reference against uninjured leg.  Coming from full stability and gradually removing support structures will bring long lasting results. Starting unilateral stage too early contributes to  poor stability and reinforces overcompensation patterns causing  additional strain on body in the future (e.g commonly experienced hip issues or shoulder/neck issues after knee injuries)

 

 Stage 3 

1 Introducing Unilateral -> Pivoting ->Plyometric

Gradually Introducing Unilateral then Pivoting then Explosives – this stage usually progresses quickly due to stable pelvis and proper biomechanics achieved in stage 2.

Unilateral exercises to be introduced ONLY once the pelvis is completely stable and core properly engaged without unbalanced weight shifting through lateral line and spinal extensors.

Every case is different depending on the extend of injury and consistency of rehabilitation (client commitment) however as a guide full return to sport can be expected between 6-12months

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