ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and is one of the most common knee injuries and certainly one of the most well known.

The ACL is a major ligament in the knee and connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia) via the knee joint and provides stability for the knee.  Lots of people think this type of injury is only for athletes, but the truth is these injuries can happen whether you are active or not.  This type of injury is unlikely to happen gradually over time it usually happens suddenly and if left untreated can cause difficulty in moving or controlling the knee.

When this happens the bones of the joint often rub against each other which over time can cause osteoarthritis, eroding of the cartilage and meniscus.

What causes an ACL injury?

As mentioned earlier, ACL injuries are not limited to athletes only. They most commonly occur with these actions:

  • Stopping suddenly
  • Quickly changing directions
  • Slowing down while running
  • Landing awkwardly
  • Being involved in a collision where the knee is hit or receiving a direct, sudden, hard hit to the knee
  • Pivoting when the foot is planted firmly

Whilst these actions are often encountered while playing sports,  you can understand how they might happen in everyday life, too!

What are the symptoms of an ACL injury?

People who experience an ACL injury will often hear a loud “POP” when it occurs. Other symptoms include:

  • Severe or intense pain
  • Swelling (begins in the first few hours after the injury)
  • A feeling that the knee is unstable
  • A popping sensation in the knee
  • The knee feels like it “gives away” when bearing weight
  • Unable to continue the activity they were doing when the injury occurred
  • Loss of or decreased range of motion

Can chiropractic treatment help?

Fundamentally chiropractic treatment helps the nervous system to function at its best, and the nervous system controls everything in your body, including how it heals.  How much it can help depends on the severity of the injury.

A chiropractic adjustment to the knee will help to restore the joint’s motion and full function, which in turn speeds up the healing process.  This is particularly beneficial with ACL sprains, where the ligament has been overstretched.  Chiropractic treatment can help reduce the pain of an ACL tear and can help prevent further damage.

Whilst manipulation of the knee joint to help restore proper knee function and healing after an ACL tear is imperative, it clearly will not reconnect a fully torn ligament.

If you think you are suffering from this kind of injury or would like some further information, or to speak to a member of our team,  please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or