ACL Injury

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury and Prevention

Each year, an estimated 300,000 individuals sustain a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee joint.  The ACL is crucial in providing stability to the knee during sporting activities such as running, jumping, cutting and pivoting.  An ACL tear will result in loss of a full season, school time, and possibly a scholarship or entire sporting career.  Female athletes are 4-8 times at risk of an ACL injury compared to male athletes.

  • 50% of all ACL patients will suffer additional damage to the knee joint
  • 75% ACL patients will incur damage to the articular cartilage, leading to further arthritis
  • 20-30% of athletes will suffer a repeat ACL injury
  • Statistically, 76 out of 100,000 girls and 47 out of 100,000 boys aged 10 through 19 will suffer an ACL injury each year

Sportsmetrics and what it is:

Over 20 years ago, Dr. Frank Noyes and the researchers at the Noyes Knee Institute developed Sportsmetrics, a scientifically proven neuromuscular training program designed to build overall leg strength and improve balance, stability, and body mechanics during jump/land tasks.  Since the program was established, over 25 studies have been published proving the effectiveness of the Sportsmetrics program. Sportsmetrics was created by a team of athletic trainers, physical therapists and researchers, under the direction of Dr. Frank Noyes. Sportsmetrics™ is the foundation upon which sports-specific skills are built. Sportsmetrics™ is the first ACL injury prevention program scientifically proven to decrease serious knee ligament injuries in female athletes. Certified Sportsmetrics™ Specialists are trained to implement this original program with athletes of all ages.

How Much of a Difference Sportsmetrics Makes

  • 22% Decrease in peak landing forces after Sportsmetrics training (AJSM 1996) *high landing forces associated with lack of lower limb control on landing, high injury risk
  • 50% Decrease in knee adduction and abduction moments after training (AJSM 1996)
  • 26% Increase in ham-quad muscle peak torque ratio after training (AJSM 1996)
  • 44% Increase in hamstring muscle power after training (AJSM 1996)
  • 10% Increase in mean vertical jump height after training (AJSM 1996)
  • 88% Risk reduction after training (Arthro 2014)
  • 33% Increase in normalized knee separation distance in Sportsmetrics trained athletes (AJSM 2005)
  • 75% Decrease in abnormal limb symmetry (<85%) after Sportsmetrics (Sports 2015)

Components of Sportsmetrics:

  1. SMIA: Inspired by the recent vaping epidemic and increasing sedentary lifestyles, Sportsmetrics™ Introduction to Athletics (SMIA) was designed to help introduce people to the benefits of athletics.  The SMIA program is based off the original Sportsmetrics™ injury prevention program to expose people to the fundamentals of human movement and how athletics can help combat these epidemics. The goal of the SMIA program is to increase understanding and awareness of the body and the benefits of physical activity. SMIA will help foster long term habits for a movement-based lifestyle through goal setting. Physical activity has been shown to improve energy and attention as well as decreasing stress. Participating athletes will improve their self-confidence through a sense of accomplishment. The program will increase people’s mobility, muscular strength, and cardiovascular health. SMIA will help to shape attitudes and perceptions surrounding the accessibility of athletics and create an environment for attainable goal setting.


  1. Sportsmetrics Agility and Speed (SAS): Finding a solid conditioning program that promotes power, speed, and endurance for the upcoming season is top priority. If the same program can keep injury from plaguing an athlete’s season or career, that is certainly a bonus. So, we decided to offer such a program in our newest training option, SportsmetricsAgility and Speed (SAS). SAS offers athletes the same benefits of our original injury prevention program along with the added benefit of a complex conditioning program. Through SAS, athletes will increase their speed, agility, and endurance prior to the start of their sports season. Finally, injury prevention meets sports enhancement!


SAS incorporates the scientifically proven components of Sportsmetrics, including a dynamic warm-up, jump training, strength training, and flexibility. In addition to these components, we have added a series of vigorous speed and agility drills comprising of quick feet, sharp cuts, straight sprints, backpedaling and unpredicted agility.


With each drill, athletes concentrate on correct running form, body posture and proper technique associated with cutting, pivoting, and decelerating, all activities highly associated with ACL injuries.


The entire program should be performed in the athlete’s off or preparatory season, three days a week for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, athletes should be physically ready to begin their season with a solid foundation of speed, agility, endurance, and strength. This is our most well-rounded training program yet.


  1. WIPP is a specially designed warm-up, incorporating the four components of Sportsmetrics™ for maximum efficiency and conditioning. It integrates the proven components of Sportsmetrics™ for 20 minutes of nonstop muscle and joint preparation, plyometrics, strength and flexibility. WIPP also includes agility drills that can facilitate a quick transition into practice activities.


The program is appropriate for use during training sessions for any sport that involves jumping, landing, cutting, or twisting. Using WIPP keeps athletes constantly moving and taking advantage of the limited time in practice for muscle preparation. WIPP prepares muscle groups and joints that are frequently injured: groin, hamstrings, low back, hip flexor and quads. An entire team can perform the WIPP program together.

Let Sportsmetrics™ WIPP your athletes into shape!


  1. Return to Play: Once the athlete’s readiness has been established by a therapist and Sports Injury Testing (SIT), the therapist or trainer instructs the athlete on proper form and technique in the clinic. The athlete then performs phase 1 of training at home three times per week for two weeks. The athlete then returns to the clinic for evaluation and instruction on the next phase of training, after which they perform phase 2 activities at home with the videos.


  1. The Sports Injury Test (SIT): Measures several important factors relating to an athlete’s strength, coordination, and body alignment. This compilation of tests compares the athlete’s performance to a large research database of over 800 female athletes. The database is used to understand factors which may predispose an athlete to injury. These tests also provide information that allows assessment of hip and core strength stabilization.

The testing may include:

  • History of Prior Injury and Sports Participation
  • Video Analysis of Jumping and Landing Mechanics
  • Functional Hop Tests
  • Vertec Vertical Jump Assessment
  • Hamstring Flexibility Assessment
  • Core Strength Assessment
  • Speed, Agility and Endurance Tests
  • Biodex Strength Assessment (when available)

Visit or reach out to Red Canyon Physical Therapy for more information on ACL Injury Prevention.

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT)

What it is/background:

BFRT was first invented by Dr. Yoshiakia Sato from Japan in 1966. BFRT has become popular with weightlifters, professional sport athletes, and medical professionals over the recent years. BFRT is a strengthening technique that uses a device similar to a blood pressure cuff, which safely restricts blood flow to a muscle. Read more

The Throwers Ten Exercise Program and the Overhead Athlete

The Throwers Ten Exercise Program was originally designed with 10 exercises to target strengthening for injury prevention in baseball pitchers, however has evolved as a more robust program that is beneficial to other overhead athletes. The exercises included in this program were specifically chosen as they are able to be completed outside of a gym. There is minimal exercise equipment needed and therefore allows the athlete more freedom to complete this strengthening program at home or as part of a warm-up. This exercise program would be an excellent place to start strengthening muscle groups in the shoulder in order to prevent injuries when competing in overhead sports.

Goal: To improve the strength, power, and endurance of the shoulder complex needed for the throwing or overhead athlete Read more

The Benefits of Running Versus Walking

There are many people who would argue that walking is a better form of exercise than running or vice versa. In reality, each of these forms of exercise have some benefits that separate it from the other. In this review, we will identify the risks versus rewards of both to help identify what type of program is right for you. Read more

Therapeutic Cupping for Increased Blood Flow & Pain Relief

Many of us were first introduced to therapeutic cupping during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. All eyes were on Michael Phelps, and many of us were surprised to see numerous red and purple marks all over his shoulders and back. The commentators went on to explain what these marks were a result of, and therefore cupping was brought into the forefront as a treatment to relieve pain or increase blood flow.

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Motivate Yourself to Stay Active During or After Physical Therapy

The motivation to exercise often is a big problem for people who are thinking of starting physical therapy or staying active after treatment is completed. This is one topic of conversation we have with our patients here at Red Canyon Physical Therapy at our Frederick, Maryland office.

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Helping Maryland Student Athletes Prepare for the Fall Season

The Fall sport season is right around the corner! Red Canyon Physical Therapy in Frederick, Maryland wants your student athlete feeling great. We also know that with the start of a new school year and a new sports team, the beginning of the season can be tough. Whether your student is lacing up in the black and gold for the Frederick High School Cadets, or any other team in the region, there are many factors that can help student athletes have a great tryout and season.

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