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Aug. 12 2010 12:00 AM

Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are a common and debilitating problem, especially for female athletes. A new study from UC Davis shows that changes in training can reduce shear forces on knee joints and could help cut the risk of developing ACL tears. The research was published online in the Journal of Biomechanics.

"We focused on an easy intervention, and we were amazed that we could reduce shear load in 100 percent of the volunteers," said David Hawkins, professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UC Davis. Hawkins conducted the study at the UC Davis Human Performance Laboratory with graduate student Casey Myers.

The anterior cruciate ligament lies in the middle of the knee and provides stability to the joint. Most ACL injuries do not involve a collision between players or a noticeably bad landing, said Sandy Simpson, UC Davis women's basketball coach.

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