Knee injuries can be a bit more difficult to self-diagnose then an ankle sprain or calf injury but there’s certainly things you can do to help yourself.
How Do Knee Injuries Happen?
Most knee injuries occur as a result of twisting. Knee ligaments in the joint become stressed when the foot is planted on the ground and an out of sorts twist from the hip occurs. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) plays a big role in knee function and as a result is most commonly injured.
It’s commonly injured in sports such as netball, snow sports or football due to the twisting action involved. There are several smaller knee ligaments that can also be involved in knee sprains – Even the meniscus (cartilage) can play a role. Minor sprains can take a couple of weeks to settle down with larger sprains taking 6-9 months to completely heal. If you hear an audible pop or have immediate swelling around the knee, you need to seek immediate medical advice.
What Should I Do To Help My Knee Recover Quickly?
Knee sprains can be a bit trickier to manage because of the number different structures that can be affected in your knee. If you experience symptoms such as giving way, clicking or locking, or if you just aren’t sure – Seek advice from your local Proactive physiotherapist.
But in the meantime, here are some simple steps you can take,
As always start with:
- Ice in 20 minute increments, intermittently for 24 hours.
- Keep the joint moving by gently bending or straightening your knee
- Try to avoid twisting on it.
- When laying down, try placing a pillow underneath the joint to support it, or between both knees if you sleep on your side.
Once you can weight-bear pain free on the knee:
- Integrate basic bodyweight knee movements. ie. going from sitting to standing without using your hands.
- Once pain levels subside, you can try light jogging in a straight line.
All throughout recovery, sleep is an athletes best friend. Especially when recovering from an injury!
Vitamin A and C are heavily used in tissue healing and therefore food groups high in these such as carrots, kale and spinach are a good way to go.