Monday, September 11, 2017

A Dynamic Approach to ACL Rehabilitation and Prevention: Part II - A Guest Blog

Every, and I mean EVERY, rehabilitating ACL injury has quad weakness. The swelling, soft tissue damage, and duration of inactivity is going to shrink that muscle up. When the quad does not work effectively to eccentrically control movement, combinations of adduction and IR at the hip are accentuated, putting at risk an ACL that restrains anterior translation and rotation. There are other things to consider such as:  
  • Landing technique 
  • Core activation 
  • Glute strength and stamina 
  • Force absorption (gradual / spread out vs. sharp / high peak forces) 
  • Hip external rotator activation 
  • Gastroc power / strength 
  • Foot Pronation / supination

But that quad is the big stand out every day in therapy.

First glance your response may be, “Wow, that is a lot of tape.” Yes, it is, but let’s talk about why. By having a 2” powerband (two pieces together) and a 3” on top it creates significant resistance to knee flexion, thus, turning potential energy of tape in kinetic active extension.

To see this in action, watch this video:

“Why” This Approach to Quad Control
For those who are skeptical about taping, I understand as so was I. The first time I came across Dynamic Tape it sat on my shelf for 6 months. Wasn’t till I met the creator that I realized he had truly designed a new product and approach to therapeutic taping.

Recently I started playing around with BodiTrak, a portable light-weight force and pressure mat, that is beginning its journey from golf to rehabilitation. This 11-pound stellar tech break through that operates wirelessly from your iPhone (how awesome is that!) showed some interesting information when used with Dynamic Tape. I started examining simple case examples of old ACL injuries using BodiTrak, measuring force production during a single leg jump. In the past couple months, I have done this 5x with the same success every time. The most interesting case was with a female therapist at a course I was teaching. She had a 5-year-old L ACL repair (torn twice) and a chronic history of knee pain. We had her jump up and down on the BodiTrak mat and found that her R leg produced 2.1x body weight, while the L was at 1.4x with awful motor control and high peak forces landing. 8 seconds to figure out how to jump on one leg!

I applied the power band quad taping and the next jump on the R was 2.1x BW, no changes. On the L, it was 2.1x BW!!! And this time it only took her a couple seconds to figure out how to jump. We then took the tape off and she never got above 1.7x BW but the carryover was still present.

Did the tape exert 50% more force production to make up the difference? No, but what it did to is improve eccentric control. The therapist felt more control and the appropriate motor pattern kicked in. She would absolutely need to continue to strengthen but this was a solid motivator to get her back to working harder. As a clinician, you have a new means to improve quad control while still functionally working through rehabilitation. As a bonus if your patient must wear a brace, Dynamic Tape goes right under it. 😊

Want to learn more about Dynamic Tape or BodiTrak? Please contact Keith J. Cronin, DPT, OCS, CSCS at or visit the website at

Dr. Nessler is a practicing physical therapist with over 20 years sports medicine clinical experience and a nationally recognized expert in the area of athletic movement assessment.  He is the developer of an athletic biomechanical analysis, is an author of a college textbook on this subject  and has performed >5000 athletic movement assessments.  He serves as the National Director of Sports Medicine Innovation for Select Medical, is Chairman of Medical Services for the International Obstacle Racing Federation and associate editor of the International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training.   He is also a competitive athlete in Jiu Jitsu. 

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